Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL Received Vodafone VoLTE Calling Support in India; Airtel, Idea Yet to Add

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL finally have VoLTE calling support on Vodafone India network. We report on the developments.


Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have finally received VoLTE Calling support on Vodafone India. However, despite the rollout of 4G services quite some time back, companies like Airtel and Idea still appear to be lagging. Shockingly, even the latest Google Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL smartphones lacks VoLTE support from the trio, but the situation should be remedied soon.

It appears Google has rolled out an update for the last year’s flagship Android smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The update specifically addresses a small but highly significant inability of the devices. While the two Pixel smartphones supported India’s VoLTE network, it was restricted to the latest Indian telecom player, Reliance Jio. Apparently, all the other telecom companies have been rather slow in completely switching over to the new and mainstream technology. Now Vodafone’s VoLTE has made its way on to the Pixel handsets. However, other prominent Indian telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular have still to switch over completely.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Get Vodafone India VoLTE Support

Voice over LTE or VoLTE is the currently prevalent and mainstream technology. It works not only with the 4G networks, but should work reliably with the upcoming 5G networks as well. However, majority of the Indian telecom companies have continued to rely on the CSFB (Circuit Switched Fallback). Incidentally, the CSFB works well and reliably. But it is restricted to legacy telecommunications standards. In other words, the CSFB, an increasingly outdated technology, works well only with 2G and 3G networks.

Reliance Jio, the latest telecom company to start its operations in India, was the first telco to deploy its network that adopted the VoLTE standard from the very beginning. Meanwhile, the other telecom companies continued to work with CSFB while trying to upgrade their networks to 4G.

The limitations on the Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, and Idea Cellular prevented Google Pixel 2 and the 2 XL from accessing or enabling VoLTE for its users. However, these telcos are finally deploying reliable networks that offer comprehensive 4G coverage. Hence Google rolled out an update for their Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices which now allows them to work on the VoLTE network. Google officially crossed off the limitation in the ‘Issue Tracker’.

Reliance Jio Not The Only One Company To Offer VoLTE Services

Telecom operators in India started transitioning to the VoLTE technology for facilitating 4G network. The change began in 2016. However, Reliance Jio was the only company to have a network already working on 4G. It supported VoLTE for any smartphones that had the ability to latch onto a 4G network. This allowed Jio to race ahead with adoptions. It promised a network with better or HD call quality, fewer call drops, and of course, much higher mobile internet speeds.

With the lapse of two years, several Indian telecom companies have now managed to transition a good portion of their network to VoLTE from CSFB. Hence these companies can now confidently offer VoLTE support to several smartphones that have the necessary hardware. Interestingly, the Indian smartphone market now has devices in almost all price brackets that support 4G VoLTE. Hence it is no longer a limitation at the consumer end.