BSNL takes on 4G VoLTE with VoWifi + free calls

If you enjoy the higher call quality of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls compared to regular cellular calls, you are definitely going to enjoy using BSNL’s new Wifi calling app.

The app, not yet available on Google Play, redirects your call via your Wifi network to your BSNL broadband connection.

Because the call is then handled by the company’s landline network, the quality of audio remains superior to the 2G or 3G calls.

Besides, given that BSNL is offering free and unlimited voice calling with many of their broadband plans, you will be making calls are zero cost from your mobile phone. You also don’t need to have a BSNL mobile connection for this to work, only a BSNL broadband connection.

The person who receives your call will see the phone number allocated to your broadband connection, and not your phone’s cell number, on their displays.

The only downside? You can do this only when your phone is connected to a BSNL network via Wifi.

VoWifi is used widely in many countries. However, in India, the government prohibits app makers from rerouting calls to other phone numbers via the Internet. As a result, the technology has never made headlines in India.

However, BSNL is able to get over the restriction as it is both an app maker as well as a telecom license holder. As such, it has the right to create apps that reroute calls via the handset’s data connection. Similarly, Reliance Jio too has developed such as app, which reroutes calls via Jio’s broadband Wifi device known as JioFi.

This is the second time BSNL has tried to reroute calls from mobile phones via its landline and broadband network.

The first solution, unveiled last year, was more like a traditional VoIP service rather than a VoWifi service.

Unlike a VoWifi call, which is routed through a Wifi network to the local broadband connection, a VoIP call sends the signal directly to BSNL’s exchange using any available Internet connection.

In other words, even if you are on your office’s Airtel Wifi connection, you would have been able to send your voice traffic to BSNL’s facility using that connection.

This was opposed by other operators, who feared that everyone will now start using the app to redirect all their calls to BSNL using their Wifi connections.

As a compromise, the new solution — also called Fixed Mobile Telephony or FMT — will not work over non-BSNL internet connections.

In fact, the new solution may not even work with BSNL broadband at your friend’s place or office, as the caller ID at the receiver’s end will show your office or friends’ landline number.

For now, a search on Fixed Mobile Telephony does not pull up any app on the Play Store. The company is likely to introduce the app in the coming days.