BSNL Wings was the First VoWiFi Service in India: How it Fares Against Other Telcos
BSNL Wings required subscribers to download a separate app and make a one-time payment to activate the Wi-Fi Calling service.
Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio recently made news for launching their Voice-over-Wi-Fi service (VoWiFi), which lets consumers make calls through a stable Wi-Fi connection instead of a cellular network. However, not many people would be aware that state-run telecom service provider BSNL was the first operator to launch such a service, called 'BSNL Wings'.
VoWiFi is aimed at offering seamless voice calls in areas with bad cellular reception, or when you are facing connectivity issues but have access to a steady internet connection. With this in sight, here's looking at what the BSNL Wings service offered, and how it differed from what the likes of Jio and Airtel offer today.
How it works
BSNL Wings subscribers are needed to download the 'Wings' app on their smartphones. Subscribers can then make calls to anyone on their contact list from within the app. This fundamentally differs from what Airtel and Reliance Jio offer through their VoWiFi service, where consumers don't require separate apps to access this service. If your device is compatible with VoWiFi calling, you can simply turn on Wi-Fi Calling from your phone settings and get started.
How to activate, and costs
To activate BSNL Wings, you will be needed to register your mobile number and get an Aadhar OTP-based e-KYC done. With a one-time registration fee of Rs 1,099, you will be able to make free calls to any domestic network for one year. However, if you want to make ISD calls or calls outside India, an additional charge of Rs 2,000 will be levied. With Airtel and Reliance Jio, there are no additional charges that are incurred by a user in order to make VoWiFi calls. All that a user is needed to do is ensure that the device is compatible with Wi-Fi Calling.
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