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From last few months, the voice calls plans have become dirt cheap. In fact, most of the telecom operators are bundling-in free unlimited voice calls with their data plans. Nowadays, telecoms are making money with the data services rather than the voice calls. And now, DoT (department of telecom) has come up with a new plan, where users will be able to make voice calls using any Wi-Fi network.
So, if are in an area with poor signal reception, then you can make voice calls using a Wi-Fi network. This is different than the VoIP calls, where both users have to have a specific app to make a voice call using either mobile data or Wi-Fi. In this scenario, a user will be able to call other party using a Wi-Fi network to a feature phone or even a landline phone.
This is applicable for all the active telecom providers in India and has to obey the rule set by DoT. In the absence of a Wi-Fi network, one can turn on a personal hotspot to make a voice call. Additionally, telecom operators have to get a license to use Wi-Fi or data based voice calling.
Companies like Jio, Airtel, Vodafone have already started testing this new technology and the same will be made available in the future on selected handsets. It looks like Jio has successfully completed the internal testing of Wi-Fi calling feature and the same will be made available in the future for selected users. However, this feature will only work on those devices (smartphones and feature phones) with VoLte support.
The Wi-Fi calling will be limited to local and national calls for the first few months and the DoT might allow international voice calls in the near future.
According to telecom experts, this is a good development. The Wi-Fi calling might free up the spectrum, which is used to make voice calls on a normal network.
Rajan Mathews, Director General of COAI said:
The impact of this would be different for different consumers and operators, and consumers and operators would need to assess the impact of this individually. For instance, if a customer has a voice plan, such a service is likely to benefit as it may give the customer a lower costing plan, but for a person who is already using data plan where the voice is free, such an option may not matter as much.