Idea Cellular on Wednesday announced the launch of its 4G Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in India. The services will begin on Thursday, March 1, and will initially only be available for Idea employees in select markets. The telco will proceed to launch the services in over 30 cities across four circles (Maharashtra & Goa, Kerala, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh & Telangana), and has named a few key cities in this first phase of rollout – Ahmedabad, Calicut, Hyderabad, Kochi, Nagpur, Nashik, Pune, Rajkot, Surat, and Thiruvananthapuram, among others – which is intended to be completed in the first half of March.
The next phase of Idea’s 4G VoLTE rollout will extend to all its 20 circles currently offering 4G services by the end of April. As we mentioned, the service will be initially only available for employees before being rolled out to the general public on circle by circle basis.
Idea says users will be able to call all mobile and landline networks using its VoLTE service, which will allow users to automatically be routed to 3G/ 2G when they move out of 4G network while on the call - using Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) technology.
The telecom operator 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 OnePlus and Xiaomi will be releasing it soon, enabling their users to experience Idea VoLTE.
With the launch, Idea becomes the fourth telecom operator in India to offer VoLTE services, with Reliance Jio kicking things off in 2016. Airtel followed in September 2017, nearly one year later. Vodafone launched its VoLTE services earlier this month.