Development of VoLTE in India

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The telecom industry has witnessed several technological advancements in the recent years. With latest innovations, the telecom industry is improving constantly.

India has moved to the fourth generation technology that offers high-speed Internet surfing experience. The Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology gives a robust performance and a seamless experience. Besides, the voice quality and smart phone technologies have also been upgraded.

One such technology that is revolutionizing the telecom industry at present is Voice over Long-Term Evolution or VoLTE. Ever since the launch of Reliance Jio, this term has become popular in India. However, very few know what it actually is and how it helps us.

Let’s get a basic understanding of the technology and its development in India.

About VoLTE

In simple terms, VoLTE technology lets an individual use high-speed LTE data even while using the voice calling service. Earlier, this was not possible and a 4G LTE user was shifted to 3G data if he wished to use the Internet while talking on a call. Now with this improved technology, the telecom operators are able to offer a better service without the support of any other technology.

Apart from this, Voice over LTE also offers superior voice quality. This is because it uses data for voice calls but this data is not taken from the user’s pack. It comes from a separate set, which is used only for this purpose.

VoLTE technology enjoys added privileges over other technologies and hence is capable of providing a supreme service. It allows a telecom operator to offer both voice and data service flawlessly without switching bands.

VoLTE launch in India

In India, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm is the first company to introduce the VoLTE technology. The telecom company initially announced about working on the technology and it commercially launched its services on 5th September 2016. Currently, Reliance Jio is the only company to offer Voice over LTE services in India. With this technology, it has set a benchmark for the Indian telecom sector.

Due to the intensified competition in the telecom market, other operators are also gearing up to launch the technology on their networks. Idea earlier announced that it will launch Voice over LTE by end of 2017 while Bharti Airtel said it may launch it before mid-2018. But now, these operators are planning to unveil the technology in September 2017. According to some reports, Vodafone is already testing the technology in select regions of India. Besides, a number of smart phones brands and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are also planning to unveil newer models of 4G phones that support this technology.

VoLTE adoption in India

Although Voice over LTE offers is an upgraded, high-quality, and uninterrupted voice calling facility, currently there are some shortcomings in the service in India. But, it is far better than the traditional calling facilities.

Even though Voice over LTE in India was introduced late, its adoption has been rapid. With the technology, the operational costs in Indian telecom sector have reduced as it helps in using spectrum efficiently. The technology is taking the country towards rich and reliable services.

Due to the launch of this technology the demand for Voice over LTE-enabled smart phones has gone up. This indicates a surge of interest in the technology. More and more smart phone manufacturers are also introducing such smart phones.

According to Counterpoint Technology, in the third quarter of 2016, 70 percent of all smart phones shipped were LTE-enabled and 80 percent of all the LTE-enabled smart phones shipped were Voice over LTE-enabled as against 63 percent in the previous quarter. This indicated an upward trend right at the beginning.

Reliance Jio pushed the sales of Voice over LTE-enabled devices. 14 million smart phones in India were shipped in the third quarter of 2016 whereas, in the previous quarter, the number was 8 million. During the same time, smart phone shipment in India increased by 23 percent as against the global growth of 5 percent. Recently, in the first quarter of 2017, there was again a 15 percent growth observed and the number reached 29 million.

For steering the growth of Voice over LTE further, Reliance Jio is even planning to launch a VoLTE feature phone priced around INR 1,500.

With the growing potential, Voice over LTE technology is all set to be the next big thing in the Indian telecom industry. With the launch of this technology by various telecom operators, it will be even bigger in India than it is now.