Airtel recently introduced a VoLTE Beta programme for select states in India, inviting users to test out the technology and, in return, avail data benefits. Under the offer, users will be entitled to a total of 30GB free data that is divided across three legs - 10GB on downloading and enabling the VoLTE switch, 10GB on providing feedback after the 4th week, and the final 10GB on providing feedback after the 8th week. Airtel notes that beta users might experience network fluctuations and will be required to share feedback regularly.
The Airtel VoLTE Beta programme is currently available in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Kerala, Bihar, and Punjab. Users willing to become a part of the programme need to have a VoLTE enabled smartphone, an active Airtel 4G SIM, "upgraded OS software", and an enabled VoLTE switch. You can check eligibility of your number by clicking here and scrolling to "validate mobile number". We tried out an Airtel number registered in the Kolkata telecom circle but received a prompt that "Airtel VoLTE is currently unavailable on your number."
According to Airtel, its VoLTE technology provides features such as HD voice calling, instant call connect (claimed 3 times faster than normal calls), and multitasking. Recently launched in Kolkata, Airtel currently has VoLTE presence in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka.
The company's biggest rival - Reliance Jio's 4G network is based entirely on VoLTE technology while Vodafone is said to roll out VoLTE service in Mumbai, Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka, and Kolkata in the first phase.