Soon Reliance Jio subscribers would be able to make voice calls and access the Internet with its public wi-fi hotspot.
Mukesh Ambani-led firm has been testing its Voice over Wi-Fi or voice over internet service in many circles of states including Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
A resident of MP has confirmed his iPhone being latched onto Jio VoWi-Fi to Telecom Talk.
VoWi-Fi services will allow users to make calls without cellular connectivity. Initially, the service will be limited to Jio to Jio calls. Soon it will expand to other carriers.
The service is reported to be available for people in January. A DoT official confirmed that security testing of Jio’s service has been completed.
Though, Reliance has not made any official comment about the development. Entrackr has sent queries in this regard to Reliance Jio.
Five months ago, Jio was reported to launch this service by year-end.
This service can prove to be a game-changing element for Jio as it will address call drop issue and reach out rural population where networks are poor. Wi-Fi hotspots will become a point of connection instead of mobile towers.
Other telecom operators Airtel and Vodafone are also testing similar services. While Vodafone has similar features in the UK and Australia and wants to replicate in India, Airtel is yet to launch it.
Both the firms plan to provide services for VoLTE phone users. Whereas Jio plans to integrate this service for Jiophones. Jio is also working with partners to bring in affordable large-screen smartphones that can cater to the large mass of customers, as per Sunil Dutt, head sales, channel development at Reliance Jio.
The VoWi-Fi services are based on the government’s Public Open Wi-Fi project, which plans to roll out cheap internet and other related internet-based services for the people in remote areas. DoT under this project plans to set up 1 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots in India.
In June, DoT had paved the way for internet telephone, where it allowed telecom operator to have the same number for accessing the internet as well as cellular calling. BSNL was first to unveil first internet telephony service in the country.
In the last two years, Jio has seen an unprecedented rise. In September TRAI report singled out Jio as only telecom player to add customers.
At present, Jio has the customer base of around 252 million. With VoWi-Fi services about to launch, the telecom operator will certainly attract more users especially rural ones to its network.