Idea Cellular announced that its VoLTE (Voice over LTE) service is available across 15 major telecom markets in India.
Idea Cellular’s VoLTE coverage has reached Mumbai, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, UP East, UP West, Bihar & Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Maharashtra & Goa, MP & Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, AP & Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The Aditya Birla group company did not reveal the VoLTE coverage on its 4G network in these 15 telecom circles. Idea Cellular said the VoLTE coverage is available in all its 4G locations.
Lack of wider 4G coverage is one of the main reasons for poor uptake of 4G subscribers. Some of the customers said Idea Cellular 4G data connectivity is not seamless inside homes in several locations in India resulting into poor customer experience.
Idea Cellular offers its 2G services to nearly 1 billion Indians spread across nearly 395,000 towns and villages.
On the other hand, Idea Cellular offers its high-speed broadband internet services to 650 million Indians spread across 164,159 towns and villages. Idea Cellular installed 154,910 broadband sites (2G sites at 131,446) as on March 31, 2018.
Idea Cellular makes low investment in telecom networks as compared with Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone India. The low Capex program of Idea Cellular shows that its 3G and 4G customers across the country will continue to face dip in quality of services.
Idea Cellular said it has been consistently investing in the Indian market at an average Capex of Rs 7,000 crore plus ($1 billion plus per year), for the last few years, focusing more on the 4G network expansion. The investment from Idea Cellular is significant at a time when a large number of operators have either closed down business / filed for bankruptcy or merged with other entities.
Idea Cellular and BSNL are the two poor performers in the Indian broadband market. TRAI statistics indicates that Idea Cellular had 39.84 million broadband customers in March 2018 as compared with 38.52 million in February 2018.
Reliance Jio Infocomm’s broadband customer base reached 186.56 million in March from 177.13 million in February, making Jio as the top broadband company in India.
Bharti Airtel’s broadband subscriber base reached 85.67 million in March 2018 from 80.24 million in February 2018.
The broadband subscriber base of Vodafone reached 59.77 million from 55.54 million. BSNL, the state-owned telecom operator has 21.08 million broadband customers in March 2018 as compared with 21 million in the previous month.
Idea Cellular also said it will give 30 GB free data to its VoLTE users. Customers will get 10 GB data on making the first VoLTE call, additional 10 GB on giving feedback on the service after 4 weeks, and another 10 GB on giving feedback after 8 weeks.
Idea VoLTE customers will not face call drop issues because the network will automatically route to 2G or 3G when they move out of 4G network using Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC). Idea Cellular users can call all mobile and landline networks using the VoLTE service.
“In addition to network expansion, Idea focuses at providing attractive voice and data plans for post-paid and pre-paid customers along with handset makers,” said Sashi Shankar, chief marketing officer of Idea Cellular.
The telecom operator said existing Idea mobile customers with compatible 4G handsets will be automatically upgraded to Idea VoLTE service without any additional cost.
Idea VoLTE is presently available on Vivo V7 Plus, Honor 5C, Honor 6X, Honor 7X, Honor View10, Honor 9 lite and Honor 9i handsets.
The telecom operator said Xiaomi Redmi4, Samsung J7 Pro/A5/A7, One Plus 5/5T/6 and Nokia 3/5 plus devices will start releasing Over the Air (OTA) updates to enable Idea users to experience VoLTE service, soon.
At present, Idea Cellular is in the process of merging its operations with bigger rival Vodafone Group to sustain in the business.