At an event held in Mumbai yesterday, Idea Cellular Managing Director Himanshu Kapania announced that Idea Cellular would be launching Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services across all of its 4G circles within this calendar year. The event also showcased a Digital Idea app suite which is expected to offer its customers rich multimedia content – including music, movies, and games.
The third largest telecom operator after Airtel and Vodafone is also in talks with both Ericsson and Nokia for the necessary equipment. While Vodafone India is already having a trial run of VoLTE services in select areas, Airtel is expected to move to VoLTE in key markets over the next 12-18 months.
Furthermore, Idea Cellular also announced that it will be coming up with its own e-commerce portal to sell smartphones and mobile services this year. Customers can order a smartphone, internet dongle, subscribe to music and movie services, buy booster plans and more via the portal. To compete with its rival Reliance Jio, Idea Cellular has launched Idea Music Lounge, a music streaming service, Idea Movie Club, an on-demand movie and live TV streaming service, and Idea Game Spark, a gaming-focused app store from Android smartphones.
Currently, Reliance Jio is the only telecom operator that offers VoLTE services to over 72 million subscribers in India using Nokia’s IMS solution. Currently, telecom operators use LTE network for data transmission, but for voice calls, the operators switch bands to a 2G network. VoLTE allows operators to have both voice and data via the same network without switching bands, resulting in crystal clear audio.
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