4G VoLTE networks are poised to enable conversational video -- on both SIMS
By Anand Parthasarathy
Bangalore, May 14 2018: A key element of today's 4G mobile services is poised to see a significant upgrade this year -- one that will help us make a smooth transition in one or two years, to the promise of 5G. Reliance Jio was the first to bring VoLTE or Voice over LTE ( for Long Term Evolution) to India last year. The technology essentially converts the 4G network into a data-only pathway: Voice calls travel as data before being heard at the other end. This makes telephone voice quality, better, sharper-- and as the Jio service showed it benefits customers who only pay for data -- voice calls, local or roaming are free and unlimited.
In the last three months, other providers like Airtel, Idea and Vodafone, have caught up: every week sees them extending VoLTE services to yet another state. No matter who your service provider, chances are by June, you can experience the technology on your handset, with one possible caveat: If you have a dual-SIM phone, only one slot will support VoLTE, the other gets downgraded to2G or 3G. This is set to change. Mobile chip makers like Qualcomm and MediaTek are launching what is called DSDS -- Dual SIM Dual Standby: both SIMs can be 4G VoLTE. Zenfone Max Pro M1 and Honor View 10 are the first handsets to reach India with DSDS. The list is growing by the day.
But wait! There is more in the offing before the lurch to 5G. MediaTek has already launched a chipset that lets phone makers offer not just VoLTE but ViLTE -- that is, Video on LTE. You can soon experience "conversational video" -- routinely "seeing the person you are taking to ( if you want to, that is)! Voice and video will soon merge seamlessly to create a very superior experience. When you next tell someone "See you!" -- it will take on a whole new meaning.
We review two recently launched and very affordable 4G VoLTE phones: The Infocus Vision 3 & the Tecno Cmon i Sky, in our product parade section.