Bharti Airtel, the leading telecom service provider in the country, recently introduced a VoLTE Beta programme for select users in India. The programme invites users to test the technology and get free data benefits in return.
Under the offer, Airtel users will be entitled to a total of 30GB free data and it will be offered in three legs. The first 10GB data will be enabled on downloading and enabling the VoLTE switch, another 10GB on providing feedback after the fourth week while the final 10GB of data will be given on providing feedback after the eighth week. Airtel says that beta users will experience network fluctuations and will be required to provide feedback regularly.
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The 4G VoLTE beta programme from Airtel is available in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Kerala, Bihar, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. Airtel subscribers willing to join the VoLTE beta programme will need to have a VoLTE enabled smartphone, an active Airtel 4G SIM, updated software on the device and an enabled VoLTE system. Airtel users can also check whether they are eligible for the programme by heading to https://www.airtel.in/volte-circle and scrolling down to “validate mobile number” option.
Airtel is the first incumbent telecom operator to enable VoLTE services in most part of the country. When Reliance Jio launched its 4G services in 2016, the VoLTE support was touted as major differentiator in addition to unlimited data. With VoLTE, Airtel says its subscribers will be able to experience HD voice calling, instant call connect (claimed to be 3 times faster than normal calls) and multitasking. The service was recently launched in Kolkata and Airtel has already enabled VoLTE calling in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
Reliance Jio is the only telecom service provider with pan-India VoLTE support. Vodafone, another leading player has enabled VoLTE services in Mumbai, Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka and Kolkata. Bharti Airtel and other incumbent players are engaged in a fierce tariff battle with Reliance Jio. The new entrant has already started delivering profits while leading players continue to report loss in revenue.