Vodafone India on Thursday announced launching of VoLTE services in its key circles of Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Gujarat (Surat and Ahmedabad), which will shortly be expanded to Kolkata and Karnataka. Vodafone India managing director and CEO Sunil Sood said, “We have consistently invested in building a robust and future-fit data-strong network pan India. We will be expanding the Vodafone VoLTE experience in several more circles shortly.” The service is accessible on popular 4G mobile devices with a 4G SIM of the operator. Vodafone SuperNet 4G customers can access VoLTE at no additional charges and all calls will be billed as per existing plan or pack benefits. The operator said VoLTE services will be launched in Karnataka and Kolkata next and will be extended across the country in a phased manner over the next few months. Sources said the company will be covering a total of 17 circles in a phased manner, which is expected to complete by 2018-end. At present, Vodafone has 4G services in 17 circles and has a total of around 46 million 3G/4G subscribers. It has a network of around 140,000 sites, which include around 128,000 3G/4G sites.
Vodafone is the second operator to launch VoLTE services in the country after the launch of Reliance Jio in September 2016. India’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, has already launched VoLTE services in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat and will cover all the 22 telecom circles it operates in by the end of FY18. Idea Cellular, too, is in the process of rolling out VoLTE services. Jio is the only telecom operator having a pan-India VoLTE network. Market insiders predict that this process will gather speed next year and a sizeable number of subscribers will be riding on VoLTE in near and medium term.