State owned telecom operator BSNL today announced the soft launch of its Internet Telephony service in India called Wings. The service comes after TRAI refreshed the guidelines of VoIP in October last year, which were recently approved by DoT in May. The service will allow users without cellular connectivity to make calls over a Wi-Fi network. Other telcos are also said to be testing the technology and are expected to launch the service soon.
With the new guidelines set in place, BSNL’s Wings service will be linked to a mobile numbering scheme. Users will have to install an app on their smartphone or laptop, which will act as an SIP client to make and receive calls on the device. With the service setup, users can make calls anywhere in India or abroad. Calls can also be made to other networks and landline numbers over broadband, Wi-Fi, 4G, or 3G Internet. However, video calling is only supported between users who have access to Wings services.
BSNL is said to start bookings for the service soon. Customers will be wait-listed in all BSNL telecom circles, with priority given by first come first serve basis. Connections are said to go live by August 1. As part of the launch, the company will be offering free voice and video calls for one year at a onetime activation fee of Rs 1,099.
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While other telcos are still in their testing phase, even Reliance Jio is touted to launch its voice over Wi-Fi services soon. The company seems to be in the last stage of testing the technology and is waiting for approvals from DoT in order to roll out the service. Jio is also expected to enable the service on its JioPhone. The service will further boost connectivity in rural areas where network is said to be weak.