In less than a month since Airtel rolled out the Wi-Fi Calling service for its prepaid and postpaid users across India, the user base has now crossed the 1 million mark. The way Wi-Fi Calling works is that if your phone supports it, the voice calling is shifted from the mobile network to the home or office Wi-Fi network—as a user, you wouldn’t have to do anything different, except the calls that you make or receive will be routed via your broadband network instead of the mobile network. The idea seems to be to not only reduce the load on the mobile network, but also ensure better call quality via the broadband line when the mobile network coverage may be insufficient.
“We are delighted with the extremely positive customer response for Airtel Wi-Fi Calling. The technology has truly transformed the indoor network quality for Airtel mobile customers, particularly in high population density areas in urban markets. Airtel is also the first to make the service LIVE across India and our customers can use the feature on any Wi-Fi,” says Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel.
Airtel has also confirmed expanded support for phones that support the Wi-Fi Calling feature. At present, the Apple iPhones that work with Airtel Wi-Fi Calling include the iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and the iPhone SE. The OnePlus 7, the OnePlus 7 Pro, the OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro are also compatible with the Airtel Wi-Fi Calling. If you have a Xiaomi phone, the Redmi K20, Redmi K20 Pro, POCO F1, Redmi 7A, Redmi 7, Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi Y3 work with Airtel Wi-Fi Calling—and we expect more Redmi phones will be added to this list soon. The Samsung Galaxy J6, the Galaxy On 6, the Galaxy M30s and Galaxy A10s were already compatible with the Airtel Wi-Fi Calling, and the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy M20, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note 10+, Galaxy M30, Galaxy A30s and the Galaxy A50s also work with the Wi-Fi calling feature now. The Vivo V15 Pro and Y17 are new additions to the list, and so are the Asus Zen Phone Pro and Zen Pro Max. Airtel says that as many as 102 Android phones and iPhone models now have support for Wi-Fi Calling.
To get Wi-Fi calling to work for you indoors, at home and at work, what you need is an Airtel mobile connection—prepaid or postpaid, doesn’t matter really. What also doesn't matter is which postpaid plan or prepaid recharge tariff package you are subscribed to at the time. And you need to also have an Airtel Broadband connection—doesn’t matter if its ADSL, VDSL or the Xstream fiber service. Your smartphone should be capable of handling the Wi-Fi calling switching. Airtel says you must update to the latest software for your phone. For Android users, head to Settings and check for the software update for Android on your phone—this option is either in the About menu or somewhere in the main list of options, depending on which Android phone you are using. Apple iPhone users must head to Settings -> General -> About and check for the software update. Once this is done, you must restart your phone (chances are, the software update process will do that for you) and head to the mobile network or mobile data settings on the Android phone and Settings -> Cellular on the iPhone. Here, you need to enable VoLTE and the Wi-Fi Calling options.
The Airtel Xstream broadband plans start at Rs 799 per month and depending on the service in your area, you have the option of signing up for speeds up to 1Gbps.