Jio’s New Year Gift: Mukesh Ambani-Owned Telco Reportedly Testing VoWi-Fi Calls; Here’s How It Will Work

After making a breakthrough in India’s telecommunication sector with the introduction of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology, Reliance Jio is now allegedly foraying into a telecommunication model that totally eliminates the need for a cellular network to make calls. Called the Voice over Wi-Fi, otherwise known as VoWi-Fi, the new calling technology is now being tested by Reliance Jio in select areas in Madhya Pradesh, as per a report.

According to Telecom Talk, the Reliance Jio VoWi-Fi services have been spotted in select areas in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. The publication was sent a screenshot by a reader of his phone’s home screen showing the Jio VoWi-Fi services activated. The screenshot belongs to an iPhone, which means that Jio could be testing the services on a limited scale of devices. While it is not officially confirmed when VoWi-Fi services will be rolled out by Reliance Jio, it is, however, expected to be activated for the users in January 2019.

The idea of implementing the Voice over Wi-Fi, or VoWi-Fi, services in India was incorporated in a consultation paper floated by Department of Telecommunications. VoWi-Fi is useful in situations when there is no or negligible cellular connectivity, such as in remote locations, however, a Wi-Fi connection is required. Reliance Jio began testing the VoWi-Fi back in July this year – the report mentions that the VoWi-Fi services will be initially available on the Jio network. This service is also said to be made available for the Jio Phone models, as per the report.

Telecom Talk also reports that Reliance Jio rivals Airtel and Vodafone Idea are also testing their respective VoWi-Fi services, however, the details are scarce as of now. Vodafone is testing the VoWi-Fi services in other countries, which could mean the company could soon bring it to India. The advancement in the calling technology in India will see all the leading telecom companies going hand in hand for the first time, at least for VoWi-Fi. The VoWi-Fi infrastructure will gain further boost with government’s ‘Public Open Wi-Fi’ project that will see over 1,000 Wi-Fi hotspots being set up across the tier-1 and tier-2 cities in India. – Financial Express

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