Bharti, Vodafone gear up to deploy VoLTE technology to take on Reliance Jio

India’s top two telecom operators are preparing to deploy Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology on their networks in association with Finnish gearmaker Nokia to take on Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is expected to start operations soon with services based on this technology.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, formerly regarded as being sceptics of the technology, have awarded the VoLTE contract to Nokia, people aware of the matter said. No. 3 carrier Idea Cellular is in “active talks” with the Finnish company for a similar deal, they said.

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The incumbents haven’t been too keen on the technology but changed their minds following the sudden proliferation of VoLTE handsets in the Indian market, encouraging them to compete with Jio on this front, the people said. Airtel denied any plans to enable the technology on its network. Vodafone India and Nokia declined to comment.

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