NEW DELHI: Idea Cellular said that it will roll out its VoLTE (Voice over LTE) service for customers across six major markets – Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh starting May 2, 2018. With the launch, Idea will become the fourth telecom operator in the country to offer VoLTE service. Currently, Reliance Jio is the only pan-India VoLTE service provider, while Vodafone and Bharti Airtel offer the service in select circles.
Idea customers will get 10GB data within 48 hours of making the first VoLTE call. Calls on VoLTE will be charged as per the customer’s existing voice tariff, the telco said.
Through own VoLTE services, Idea would try and ringfence its subscriber base ahead of the completion of its merger with Vodafone India, and amid a fierce price war for the market share.
The introduction of VoLTE will allow Idea Cellular to free up 3G and 2G network that are currently being used to offer voice service. These networks can be refarmed for offering 4G data services, and would give the telco more airwaves to meet surging demand for mobile broadband, analysts say.
VoLTE technology allows an operator to offer both voice and data on the same network with voice being just another application that rides on an LTE data network.
Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular said, “The launch of Idea VoLTE is testimony to our commitment to digitally connect customers, and a major milestone in Idea’s mobility journey. We aim to provide a better and richer call quality experience to our customers through this revolutionary new technology.”
Idea said that VoLTE allows subscribers to continue experiencing un-interrupted 4G internet while simultaneously being on a voice call. Idea VoLTE will enable users to automatically be routed to 3G/2G when they move out of 4G network using Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC), thus ensuring continuous call connectivity.
“Idea is partnering with several handset manufacturers to ensure availability of a wide range of Idea VoLTE capable devices in the market”, added Shankar.
Idea said that VoLTE will be accessible on 4G handsets powered by Idea 4G SIM. Existing Idea customers with compatible 4G handsets will automatically be upgraded to Idea VoLTE service.