[Feedback] Intex Aquafish will Sell More in India if Sailfish OS Supports VoLTE

asked 2016-08-25 13:56:42 +0300

sifartech gravatar image

updated 2016-09-13 17:10:22 +0300

Realistically, Sailfish OS is not competing with Android but with Tizen OS and other Android derived OS's.

Samsung recently launched the Z2 with Tizen OS 2.4 in India with specs that are lousier than the Intex Aquafish. And yet, because of the 'bundling offer' with a new telecom provider, who offer VoLTE, they will certainly sell more phones than Intex Aquafish.

As pointed out by Samsung as well, the sub-Rs 5,000 smartphone segment doesn’t have enough phones that offer 4G and VoLTE support ... Samsung is likely cash in on its brand value and massive reach in offline segment to nail this segment.

Source: First Impressions of Z2

As Indian cellular infrastructure is rather young, they have the advantage that they can embrace and roll out new technologies faster than Europe or USA (as they don't have to bother about any 'legacy' infrastructure). Taking advantage of such a scenario is a new cellular provider in India, Reliance Jio. I recall reading an article on Reliance Jio that they will be completely skipping over 2g and 3g technologies.

"Reliance Jio is creating the most extensive and future-proof network in India, and perhaps, in the world. It will provide next generation legacy-free digital services over an end-to-end all-IP network, which can be seamlessly upgraded even to 5G and beyond. In addition to the existing pan India 2300 MHz spectrum and 1800 MHz in 14 circles, Jio invested over Rs 10,000 crore during this year's auction to acquire 800 MHz spectrum in 10 circles and 1800 MHz spectrum in 6 circles. This brings the cumulative investment in spectrum assets to nearly Rs 34,000 crores. Jio now has the largest footprint of liberalized spectrum in the country, acquired in an extremely cost effective manner.

Reliance Jio has laid more than 2.5 lakh kilometres of fibre-optic cables, covering 18,000 cities and over one lakh villages, with the aim of covering 100% of the nation’s population by 2018. It has an initial end-to-end capacity to serve in excess of 100 million wireless broadband and 20 million Fibre-to-Home customers. Reliance Jio has also built nearly half-a-million square feet of cloud data centres and a multi-Terabit capacity international network. The infrastructure is being built in partnership with some of the world’s most technologically advanced companies."

Source: http://www.ril.com/OurBusinesses/Jio (Read more news on Reliance Jio here.)

I also recall reading that Reliance Jio will also support VoWifi.

Even before Reliance Jio's service has been launched, the other cellular service providers are already trying to upgrade their networks to catch up with it.

As such, Jolla really needs to take the initiative here to roll out VoLTE and VoWiFi feature in the next release of Sailfish OS to entice Intex (and others) to continue supporting Sailfish OS. (In fact, last year, Intex supplied 100,000 4G enabled phones to Reliance Jio before Reliance Jio themselves decided to manufacture their own cell phones!). By supporting VoLTE and VoWifi , Intex / Jolla could also approach cellular providers to get better bundling deals to subsidise the phones and make Sailfish OS powered phones more appealing to prospective buyers. (In fact, the Reliance Jio apps bundled with Samsung Z2 seem quite compatible with the goals for Sailfish Partnerspace).

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First of all, VoLTE is not a subscriber feature, but a provider feature. It does not matter for the user if the voice call is runs over IP or is circuit switched. It's in the interest of the network operators to simplify their networks and move all subscribers to VoLTE-only. I am not sure how much Indian operators subsidize the devices. As far as I know, this is not common practice in India. I wonder how they can afford to exclude all the subscribers using non-VoLTE handsets, which should be the majority. Of course VoLTE should be on Jolla's roadmap. But it seems not a top priority for me.

Stefanix ( 2016-08-25 14:55:49 +0300 )edit

@Stefanix - (1) It doesn't matter whether VoLTE is a subscriber feature or a provider feature. What matters is whether Sailfish OS supports it. And when articles praising the benefits of VoLTE appear more and more in the media, it will matter to the user too.
(2) Indian cellular providers don't subsidize devices as that business model hasn't been successful here. Samsung has partnered with Reliance Jio to offer 3 months free unlimited voice / data to all buyers of the Z2, along with certain Reliance Jio app. This kind of "bundling" has proven to be more popular with Indians, as cellular data plans are still quite expensive here.
(3) They aren't excluding non-VoLTE devices. Jio hasn't launched their service yet, and are currently beta testing their network. During this phase, they are only allowing VoLTE supported devices. Their business model is to treat everything - voice, video, text etc. - as "data" and charge users for data consumption. When they do launch, ofcourse, they will have to support non-VoLTE devices as seamless inter-connectivity with other cellular providers is a government requirement. But they (theoretically) shouldn't have any issues with this too - an additional requirement for VoLTE enabled networks is to have a means to handing back to circuit switched legacy networks in a seamless manner using a system known as SRVCC - Single Radio Voice Call Continuity. (A different company related to their parent company does have an existing CDMA network - http://www.rcom.co.in - and I think they may use that too for this purpose).

sifartech ( 2016-08-25 19:31:15 +0300 )edit

(1) Not sure if the average user would read such technical articles. Of course if VoLTE is being promoted in ads it might become a desirable feature. But I don't agree with Maggie in all points, and she is using CDMA as a reference. Even 2G could provide very good speech quality, if AMR-WB ('HD Voice') would be enabled. HD voice is already in use in many 3GPP networks. I am not sure if this would be supported by CDMA networks. RCS does not require VoLTE and we have already "device interoperability", with the exception of CDMA, of course. The interoperability situation might become even more difficult with LTE because there are so many bands and devices support often only a subset. I don't understand why VoLTE itself should improve interoperability.

(2) Interesting that it is the opposite in India, a subscription does not come with a subsidized phone, but some phones come with airtime bundled... :) I guess you must be Samsung to get this kind of partnership offered.

(3) Is there a mandatory national roaming in India? Can I use any network with any subscription? I haven't heard about CSFB or SRVCC into roaming partner's network. Maybe it works.

Stefanix ( 2016-08-25 21:22:53 +0300 )edit

@Stefanix - Yes, there is mandatory national roaming in India. And yeah, you can use other networks while roaming, but your service provider is allowed to bill you more if you use other networks. (E.g. Vodafone India - checkout the first question, "What are National Roaming Charges".

sifartech ( 2016-08-29 00:47:29 +0300 )edit

Jio has given the preview offer to all Intex 4g phones but sadly Aquafish is not in the list and the My Jio app does not work

dillihifi ( 2016-08-31 18:24:01 +0300 )edit