Reliance Jio has silently rolled out voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) calling service for its subscribers in multiple circles, including Delhi-NCR and Chennai, following a limited launch by Airtel in December 2019.
Jio’s VoWiFi isn’t restricted to its own JioFiber service, similar to Airtel’s offering currently which works only with Airtel Xstream Fiber, and is working with all kinds of indoor WiFi networks and public WiFi hotspots.
Airtel’s service is currently available in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, and will be rolled out in other circles in a phased manner.
The latest move will help Jio improve indoor voice calling experience for its users. VoWiFi addresses problems of insufficient coverage, especially indoors where even with the VoLTE. Analysts are of the view that telcos can attract more subscribers using VoWiFi or retain subscribers by offering better indoor calling experience. In addition, they would come up with competitive packages to increase revenue and competitiveness.
The service does not need a separate app or any log-in or new number and customers will be able to use it on any Wi-Fi connection inside their homes.
The move will allow the telco to take on over-the-top (OTT) players like WhatsApp and keep them from eating their revenues. Making voice calls over WiFi is free using apps like WhatsApp, hike, and WeChat.
A query sent to Jio went unanswered.
Jio’s service is available on Samsung and Apple smartphones, and will soon be available on smartphones from other brands like Xiaomi and OnePlus.
VoWiFi technology enables users to make outgoing calls even where there is poor cellular connectivity. It is designed to plug indoor network gaps as telecom operators find it increasingly challenging to get approvals for site approvals and Right of Way (RoW) in residential areas.
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