Three months after Reliance Jio started giving out free connections, Lenovo — the biggest online smartphone brand in India — has started pushing out VoLTE update to those who bought its last generation phones – the K5, and its Note and Plus variants.
Out of these, at least some Note users have already got the OTA update as early as October this year, while those with K5 and the Plus version have been kept waiting.
The lack of native support for Reliance Jio’s voice services has been a major disappointment with these phones as both Jio and Lenovo target the same audience — tech savvy young customers eager for a good deal.
“We’re rolling out VoLTE with Reliance Jio support across the entire Lenovo K5 series! Sit back and enjoy,” the company said.
The announcement comes immediately after the company launched its K6 Power, which replaces the K5 and K5 Plus. The K6 Power comes with 4G voice support from day 1.
Without the VoLTE update, K5 users had to install a separate app called Jio4G Voice. However, this app did not give the same level of satisfaction as native support for various reasons.
Some felt that the app — which works by converting your voice signal into Internet traffic — offered poorer voice quality compared to built-in VoLTE, while others felt that it tended to exhibit lags in dialling and otherwise processing text and calls.
The K5 Note, which was the first to get the OTA update, is built on the MediaTek Helio P10 chipset, while the Plus version is built on Snapdragon 616 and the cheapest variant is built around Snapdragon 415.
Reliance Jio has racked up over 50 mln users in four months — giving it a market share of over 10%.
Beyond subscriber numbers, Jio accounts for about 80% of the total wireless Internet traffic in India, and over half of the total Internet traffic in India.
In addition to superfast data, the company also offers high-definition voice calls over LTE.
Unlike regular calls, VoLTE conversations are much easier to understand as they convey a higher range of audio frequencies compared to regular phone calls, which compress audio into a very narrow range of frequencies.
Over the last two years, the Chinese smartphone maker has emerged as the biggest smartphone brand by online sales in India, and the second biggest by total sales.
The company comes up with a new line-up every six months.
While it is credited with practically creating the 4G smartphone market in the country as we know it, the market itself is showing signs of deceleration as the initial demand for 4G smartphones subsides.
Most high- and mid-income users have already upgraded their devices to 4G over the last one year. There is still growth in the sub-Rs 5000 market, but sales in this segment is not driven by upgrades, but by first-time users looking for a cheap phone with Internet and WhatsApp.
The sub-5000 market is currently dominated by Indian brands such as LYF, Intex and Micromax, and a large proportion of the smartphones in this segment continues to be sold with only 3G.