Indian mobile operator rolls out HD calling in Mumbai, pledges to launch in ‘all key geographies’ over coming months

Bharti Airtel became the second operator in India to launch voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services this week.

The Indian mobile market leader announced the launch of VoLTE in Mumbai on Monday, and said it will extend the launch to other parts of India in the coming months.

Like its rivals, Bharti is working hard to fend off the challenge from market newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm, which until now was the the only Indian operator to offer VoLTE.

The telco is promising customers HD quality voice calling and faster call set-up times, as well as assuring them that in areas where it has no 4G network their calls will fall back onto its 2G or 3G infrastructure.

"Airtel has built a world-class 4G network across India and with the VoLTE-compatible device ecosystem beginning to mature, we believe it’s the right time to enable VoLTE calling as part of our service portfolio," Bharti Airtel’s networks director Abhay Savargaonkar said, in a statement.

"Over the next few months we will rapidly accelerate the deployment of VoLTE to cover all key geographies to bring HD quality calling to our customers," he added. "We keenly look forward to our device partners enabling Airtel VoLTE on their smartphones."

As a postscript to its VoLTE announcement, Bharti noted that it has rolled out carrier aggregation technology in Mumbai, boosting data speeds to 135 Mbps.

The telco said it is aggregating TDD spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band and 1800-MHz FDD spectrum.