Airtel VoLTE Finally Launched – What It offers and How to Get It

On: September 12, 2017

Bharti Airtel – India’s largest telecom operator has finally launched VoLTE in India today and will be debuting from Mumbai. This update comes after much anticipation and a long wait. VoLTE which has previously been a Jio exclusive service in India is about to change. Airtel has debuted this service currently just in Mumbai, however, the company is working to make VoLTE available in more cities in the coming months.

In a statement, Abhay Savargaonkar, Director of Networks for Airtel said, “This is a significant milestone in Airtel’s network transformation journey under Project Leap. Airtel has built a world-class 4G network across India and with the VoLTE compatible device ecosystem beginning to mature, we believe it’s the right time to enable VoLTE calling as part of our service portfolio.” He also stated that over the next few months, they will rapidly be accelerating the deployment of VoLTE to cover all key geographic areas to bring high-quality HD calling to their customers.

If you’re an existing Airtel user in Mumbai, here’s how you can experience VoLTE on your device:

  1. Check if your mobile device is compatible here. Airtel has tested its VoLTE service on popular device models. More models will keep getting added to this list over time.  
  2. Make sure you have the latest operating software installed on your Mobile device. For most Android phones, you can check if you’re on the latest firmware through Settings > About Phone > System Update. For iOS devices, you can check through Settings > General > Software Update
  3. Ensure that you are using an Airtel 4G SIM. If you have been using 4G on your phone already, you’re good to go. If not, you can upgrade to a 4G SIM by visiting your nearest Airtel store or have one delivered at your doorstep.
  4. Verify that the VoLTE voice calling feature has been enabled on your smartphone.
    For Android users : Settings > Mobile Network > Turn on VoLTE call
    For iOS users : Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Enable 4G > Turn on Voice & Data.

To ensure VoLTE works flawlessly, Dual-SIM handsets’ users should ensure that the Airtel SIM is inserted in the SIM slot 1 and network mode has been set as 4G/3G/2G (Auto).

We tested two of our in-house SIMs across an Android and an iOS device and saw a considerable difference in call quality and call-connect times. However, we also observed that on the iPhone, on some occasions, the device switched over to 3G just as the call was placed, thereby disabling VoLTE.

Unlike Jio which operates solely on 4G, Airtel has boasted that in the case of non-availability of 4G, Airtel VoLTE calls will automatically fall back on 3G/2G network to ensure that customers continue to stay connected at all times, which is what we observed. Airtel has also touted about deployment of 4G Advanced Carrier Aggregation technology in Mumbai which enables data speeds of up to 135 Mbps.

Are you excited to jump onto the VoLTE bandwagon? Why wait? Follow the above steps and experience it for yourself.