The New AirTel VoLTE: Deal or No Deal?

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Now that AirTel’s widely rumored VoLTE network has finally gone live in Mumbai, Jio had finally a potential competitor to match its enormous VoLTE distribution and massive offerings.
This is also a notable development for the Indian telecom market.

But does it automatically mean there will be benefits for consumers?

Let us find out:

To begin with AirTel‘s VoLTE does not support every device (yet).

Currently, the market leader’s official website lists only a few smartphones that will support the company’s network, which include-

1. Apple iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
2. Samsung Galaxy J700 (J7), Galaxy A800 (A8), Galaxy J2 Pro (2016)
3. Xiaomi Mi Max Prime, Redmi Note 4, Mi Max, Mi 5
4. Gionee A1
5. Oppo F3 Plus
Being the market leader, this limited scope of its newly established network category seems narrow and unwise to many.
But that limitation is temporary and is subjected to change in near future and it doesn’t take away what you can really get in the AirTel VoLTE:
1. HD Calling
You can make HD calls at no or very less charges with no drop in background data speeds from your AirTel 4G VoLTE network.
2. Rich Communication Services (RCS)
RCS basically covers things like iMessage, WhatsApp, Skype and more. All the features these apps offer, can now come directly from AirTel. Of course, it’ll need a supporting app, network support and device support. Truth be told, it’s basically a way for AirTel to battle WhatsApp and other services, and has less meaning for most of smartphone users.
3. Faster Calling and Better Battery Life
4G increases overall efficiency reagrding network usgae and data consumption. It utilizes your phone’s battery and hikes the basic performance as comapred to 3G or 4G LTE.

Though the deal is pretty narrow at this point of time, but, the future is not all that dark.

Because, over the longer term, VoLTE frees up spectrum for AirTel, and it can redo its 2G and 3G networks into LTE versions instead.

With voice moved to the LTE bands, AirTel frees up spectrum (the ones it already owns) to offer other services and boost its revenues.

But the matter of the fact is, that doesn’t really matter either, since only if AirtTel can widen its VoLTE coverage across the country, the core benefits are coming to you without any additional cost.
Recently telco major has also said that VoLTE calling data will be charged to voice plans, rather than data and it would expand pan India by the March 2018. So, you can positively expect to keep accumulating data over months on AirTel’s networks, while still making as many calls as many you want, and that too pretty soon enough!