[Update: Mumbai, Kolkata, and more] Airtel launches VoWiFi in Delhi/NCR, to be rolled out all over India soon
It’s no doubt that both Airtel and Vodafone are struggling right now. Not only have the companies been facing the worst quarterly losses in the telecom sector’s history, but they have also racked up a massive liability. Earlier this month, Bharti Airtel’s board approved a fundraising plan for $3 Billion for “any future payouts” including AGR liabilities as well as debt refinancing. Out of the $3 Billion, $1 Billion will be raised through debt, while the other $2 Billion will be raised by issuing additional equity shares. In a bid to attract more users to its platform and counteract the massive losses, Airtel has now launched its VoWiFi services in Delhi/NCR.
The new Airtel VoWiFi service aims to enhance indoor voice calling experience for smartphone users by allowing users to seamlessly switch from LTE to WiFi-based calling when they’re inside their homes or offices. Users will incur no extra charge for voice calls made with Airtel VoWiFi and the company promises that the application will consume minimal data.
Talking about the launch Randeep Sekhon, CTO Bharti Airtel, said, “As a customer-obsessed brand, we constantly working on improving customer experience based on their feedback. Seamless indoor coverage has been a key ask from mobile customers but getting permissions for site installations has always been a big challenge for mobile operators, particularly in top metros. ‘Airtel Wi-Fi Calling’ is another pioneering technology intervention from Airtel and will go a long way in making the voice calling experience more seamless.”
Airtel VoWiFi will not require any additional apps and can be easily configured on any smartphone by following a few simple steps. Users can check smartphone compatibility by following this link, enable the WiFi calling feature on their smartphones, and then turn on VoLTE for a seamless calling experience. As of now, Airtel VoWiFi includes support for the iPhone 6s and later, the Xiaomi Redmi K20/K20 Pro, POCO F1, Samsung Galaxy J6, A10s, On6, M30s, and all models in the OnePlus 7 series.
The service is currently only compatible with Airtel Xstream Fiber home broadband and the company plans to roll out support for all broadband services and WiFi hotspots in the near future. Following the successful rollout in Delhi/NCR, Airtel plans to extend the service all over the country. It’s also worth noting that even though the VoWiFi might not generate direct revenue for Airtel, it may help the company retain customers by offering a better calling experience.
Update: Airtel VoWiFi rolling out in Mumbai, Kolkata, as well as in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka
Airtel has announced a broader rollout of VoWiFi, covering the cities of Mumbai and Kolkata, as well as the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. Aamir was briefly able to access VoWiFi on his broadband connection, which is provided through a local ISP and is not Airtel Xstream Fiber.
The press release still mentions Airtel Xstream Fiber as a current requirement, with broader compatibility with other broadband services rolling out.