“We are working hard on it, and hope to get new deals during this year,” Paolo Colella, head of Region, Ericsson India, told ET. Ericsson’s arch rival Nokia has managed to grab all the initial VoLTE contracts in India — from Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India.
While the Jio contract is for a pan-India deployment, the deals from leading two telcos — Airtel and Vodafone — are smaller in nature and are focused on a few tier-1 service areas.
In a VoLTE scenario, voice calls, typically, will be provisioned over a 4G LTE data network, instead of the circuit switched 2G or 3G networks which are commonly used. The VoLTE technology allows voice to become just another app that rides on an LTE data network.
“Operator investments will remain at least the same pace as last year with continued focus on deployment of 3G and 4G,” he said. India is considering putting up for sale airwaves in the traditional 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands. Besides, the sector regulator wants the government to also auction the most efficient but expensive 700 MHz band, used for 4G.