Telecom operator Idea Cellular today said it would launch voice over LTE (VoLTE) services for its employees, in select markets from March 1.
While these services will be initially available for employees, commercial services will be launched “progressively” on a circle-by-circle basis, the company said in a statement.
The company said that VoLTE services on its high-speed 4G network will enable users to simultaneously have un-interrupted internet experience while using voice services.
“Idea’s VoLTE services will be launched in over 30 cities across 4 circles including the key cities of Kochi, Trivandrum, Calicut, Pune, Goa, Nashik, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Hyderabad among others, in the first half of the month,” an Idea statement said.
The company plans to cover all 20 4G circles with VoLTE services by April end.
“Initially, the service will be available for employees, to experience Idea VoLTE which will offer ultra high definition call quality as compared to a standard voice call,” the statement added.
It will allow users to automatically be routed to 3G or 2G network when they move out of 4G coverage, thus ensuring continuous call connectivity.
The company said it is partnering with several handset manufacturers to ensure availability of Idea VoLTE capable devices in the market, prior to the commercial launch.
Huawei has already released Over the Air (OTA) update for select devices, while One Plus and Xiaomi will be releasing it soon, enabling their users to experience Idea VoLTE, the statement added.
In the first phase of launch, the VoLTE services will be rolled out in four circles in the first half of March. These include Maharashtra and Goa, Kerala, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Voice over Long-Term Evolution or VoLTE is a standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones that offers superior call quality and improved coverage and connectivity.
After the large nation-wide LTE deployment by Reliance Jio, even established telecom operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone are in the process of rolling out VoLTE, offering users the flexibility of high-quality voice calls and fast data sessions in parallel.
Earlier this month, Vodafone announced rollout of its VoLTE services in Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Gujarat and said that the services will be launched in Karnataka and Kolkata next, and thereafter across India in a phased manner in the coming months.
In fact, telecom regulator has just began an industry-wide consultation to fix service quality norms for voice calls on Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.
The regulator’s exercise is expected to culminate in framing of the parameters on call drops and service quality measurement for voice services to LTE users, much like the rules for assessing the quality of cellular mobile and basic telephony services.