New Delhi: Reliance Jio has rolled out voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) calling service for its subscribers in multiple circles, including Delhi-NCR and Chennai, following a limited launch by Airtel in December 2019, people familiar with the matter said. Jio’s service is available on Samsung and Apple smartphones, and will soon be available on other smartphone brands like Xiaomi and OnePlus, the people said. A query sent to Jio went unanswered.

Jio’s VoWiFi isn’t restricted to its own JioFiber home broadband service, similar to Airtel’s current offering that not only works on Airtel Xstream Fiber, but also with all kinds of indoor WiFi networks and public WiFi hotspots. Airtel’s service is currently available in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, and will be rolled out in other circles in a phased manner. The latest move will help Jio improve indoor voice calling experience for its users. VoWiFi addresses problems of insufficient coverage, especially indoors where even with the VoLTE.

Analysts are of the view that telcos can attract more subscribers using VoWiFi or retain subscribers by offering better indoor calling experience. In addition, they would come up with competitive packages to increase revenue and competitiveness. The service does not need a separate app or any log-in or new number and customers will be able to use it on any Wi-Fi connection inside their homes. The move will allow the telcos to take on OTT players like WhatsApp and keep them from eating their revenues.

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