Airtel today has announced the introduction of 4G VoLTE services across its network and the service will first start in Mumbai. Bharti Airtel’s VoLTE calling comes as a challenger to Reliance Jio, which has so far been a VoLTE exclusive network in India. So how can you get 4G VoLTE voice-calling on your Airtel number in Mumbai? Here’s a quick look at everything you need to know.
Will Airtel charge extra for the 4G VoLTE calls?
No, Airtel says it will not charge extra for 4G VoLTE calls. Users won’t have to get a special talktime or recharge to make these calls. Airtel 4G VoLTE calls will use data, but the same won’t be deducted from your data pack. Airtel VoLTE calls will be charged as per your existing voice plan/pack, says the company’s FAQ page.
What are the requirements for Airtel 4G VoLTE? Which smartphones are compatible?
To make a 4G VoLTE call on the Airtel network in Mumbai, a user will need a 4G SIM. Anyone on 3G or 2G SIMs from Airtel will have to upgrade. Airtel has also put out a list of smartphones compatible with its 4G VoLTE network. The list is limited for now, but Airtel promises a lot more phones will be added to this.
The list of 4G VoLTE smartphones compatible with Airtel’s network are Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6, iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and iPhone SE. Samsung J7, J2 and A8 are also on the list. Xiaomi’s Mi Mix, Redmi Note 4 and Mi 5 are also compatible with Airtel 4G VoLTE network. Oppo’s F3 and Gionee A1 are also compatible with Airtel 4G VoLTE.
I have a 4G Airtel SIM and compatible phone. How do I activate 4G VoLTE calling on my Airtel number?
For those who have a 4G SIM, compatible phone, make sure you have installed the latest update from the smartphone manufacturer, which brings support for 4G VoLTE. In iOS just go to Settings> Mobile Data>Mobile Data Options> Enable 4G > Turn on Voice & Data to activate Airtel 4G VoLTE. In Android phones, the option is to go to Settings> Mobile Network > Turn on VoLTE call.
If you are unable to find the settings, call on the Airtel Helpline at 121 and ask for details. Remember, VoLTE calling has only come to Mumbai on the Airtel network, and not in other parts of the country.
What happens to VoLTE calls when the 4G network fails?
Airtel says in these scenarios the calls go back to 2G/3G networks, which rely on the older circuit switch for connecting calls. Unlike Jio which entirely a 4G network, Airtel has the option of falling back to older networks. If there is no 4G data and a VoLTE call can’t be made, Airtel will switch on the 2G/3G network. This is an advantage considering 4G data connectivity can be an issue in India.
What is VoLTE and what are the benefits?
VoLTE stands for Voice over Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Airtel is promising “HD quality crystal clear voice with faster call setup time.” With 4G VoLTE the call data is sent as packets of information, and which are then reconstructed at the receiver’s end, promising a higher quality experience compared to normal voice calls.
How will you know that the Airtel number is making VoLTE calls?
If Airtel VoLTE is activated on your number, then “HD/VoLTE” icon will show on the top bar of the screen. This means the phone is ready to make 4G VoLTE calls. However, for iOS users there is no visual representation in the bars to indicate this.
Do you need to change your postpaid plan for Airtel VoLTE?
No. Users don’t need to get a new plan for Airtel VoLTE. The current plan will support 4G VoLTE as long as your device is compatible and you have a 4G SIM.