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Airtel to launch its VoLTE services pan-India by March 2018

Aiming to give Reliance Jio some good competition, Airtel has planned to launch its VoLTE services across India in the next 6 to 9 months. It may be recalled that Jio enjoys the first-mover advantage since it is currently the only telecom operator who provides VoLTE services. 4G services are already being offered by most other private operators, but that is limited to data services only. VoLTE is different, as it allows phone calls to be made using 4G technology. Currently only Jio offers VoLTE services to its customers. However, things can change with companies like Airtel planning to launch their own VoLTE service at the national level.

A top company official, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said that the company has already done VoLTE trials in some cities and things have turned out as expected. Vittal said that the company plans to launch its VoLTE services across the country in the next 6-9 months. However, it remains to be seen if Airtel can match the dirt-cheap rates currently being offered by Jio. Vittal said that India is soon reaching a scenario where the 3G network would be completely wiped out and only 4G and 2G will remain. However, this claim seems doubtful, since Jio has already announced plans to launch its 4G VoLTE feature phones, which would effectively bring 2G subscribers to 4G VoLTE based services.

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