Ever since the arrival of Reliance Jio, the Indian telecom sector has witnessed quite a tumult. While Jio’s primary offering was ‘free service’, they were also the first in the country to introduce VoLTE services. VoLTE, which stands for Voice Over LTE, will soon be coming to Airtel too. The Airtel CEO has now confirmed that Airtel VoLTE will begin rolling out later this year, making Airtel the second telecom brand in the nation to provide the service.
As per Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal, the Airtel VoLTE service will be rolling out in five cities to begin with, following which a pan-India expansion will begin. Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO (India and South Asia) of the company, said in New Delhi on Monday that “We are in the midst of trials. We are already doing trials in five cities. Towards the latter part of the year we should be able to launch it.”
With Airtel VoLTE, Airtel will be able to compete against Reliance Jio at an equal level. The advantage of VoLTE is that it allows the operators to offer data as well as voice services without having to switch bands. In addition to making the announcement about Airtel VoLTE, the Airtel event today also introduced Data Roll Over Promise (DROP). This means that the postpaid subscribers of Airtel will now be able to carry forward unused data to their next billing cycle.
“This new-to-the-world innovation will ensure zero data wastage for customers and brings unmatched value to the Airtel Postpaid proposition.” A customer can carry forward up to 200GB of data, Airtel said. Customers will be able to keep track of their data on the MyAirtel app.
Both of these are interesting developments from Airtel. It would be interesting to see how the telecom wars pan out after Airtel and Reliance Jio get on the same platform. However, Jio does have quite an advantage till Airtel sets up a pan-India VoLTE network, which might take quite some time.