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Airtel Launches Voice Over Wi-Fi Service to Strengthen The Indoor Voice Calling Experience

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Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) launched its voice over Wi-Fi service – ‘Airtel Wi-Fi Calling’. ‘Airtel Wi-Fi Calling’ is designed to enhance voice calling experience for Airtel smartphone customers, especially when they are indoors. With ‘Airtel Wi-Fi Calling’, customers with Wi-Fi at home or office will get excellent signal quality indoors. There will be no extra charge for calls made over ‘Airtel Wi-Fi Calling’ and the application consumes minimal data. The service is currently available to Airtel customers in Delhi NCR and will be gradually rolled out across India.

Randeep Sekhon, Chief Technology Officer, Bharti Airtel said, “As a customer obsessed brand, we are constantly working on improving customer experience based on their feedback. Seamless indoor coverage has been a key ask from mobile customers but getting permissions for site installations has always been a big challenge for mobile operators, particularly in top metros. ‘Airtel Wi-Fi Calling’ is another pioneering technology intervention from Airtel and will go a long way in making the voice calling experience more seamless.”

‘Airtel Wi-Fi Calling’ does not require any app and can be configured on the smartphone by following the steps mentioned below:

  1. Check smartphone compatibility on airtel.in/wifi-calling
  2. Upgrade device operating software to the latest version that supports Wi-Fi Calling*
  3. Go to Settings on your mobile phone and Switch On Wi-Fi Calling
  4. Keep VoLTE switched on as well for a seamless experience

Currently, the following smartphones support ‘Airtel Wi-Fi Calling’

  • Apple: All iPhone series starting 6s and above
  • Xiaomi: Redmi K20, Redmi K20 Pro & POCO F1
  • Samsung: J6, A10s, On6, M30s
  • OnePlus: All models of OnePlus 7 Series

Airtel is working with all leading smartphone brands to roll out compatibility with ‘Airtel Wi-Fi Calling’. The service is currently compatible with Airtel Xstream Fiber home broadband and will soon be compatible with all broadband services and Wi-Fi hotspots.

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Networking

Bharti Airtel Announces 5G Ready Network

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In a major landmark, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announced that it has become the country’s first telco to successfully demonstrate & orchestrate LIVE 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city.

Airtel did this over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non Stand Alone) network technology. Using a first of its kind, dynamic spectrum sharing, Airtel seamlessly operated 5G and 4G concurrently within the same spectrum block. This demonstration has emphatically validated the 5G readiness of Airtel’s network across all domains – Radio, Core and Transport. 

Airtel 5G is capable of delivering 10x speeds, 10x latency and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies. Specifically, in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone. This demonstration has underlined the company’s technology capabilities. The full impact of the 5G experience, however, will be available to our customers, when adequate spectrum is available and government approvals received.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel said: “I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. Every one of our investments is future proofed as this game changing test in Hyderabad proves. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.” 

“We believe India has the potential to become a global hub for 5G innovation. To make that happen we need the eco system to come together – applications, devices and network innovation. We are more than ready to do our bit.” added Gopal Vittal.                  

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Networking

Airtel Xstream Fiber Rolls Out Gigabit Wi-Fi Experience

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Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) has kicked off the New Year with some exciting news for customers with the launch of hyper-fast Wi-Fi experience. 

Airtel Xstream Fiber customers can now enjoy 1 Gbps data speeds over Wi-Fi and no longer have to be constrained by a dedicated LAN cable. The Airtel Xstream Fiber Rs 3999 plan now comes with a complimentary 1 Gbps Wi-Fi router to go with unlimited data quota and massive bundled content.  

The highly advanced 4×4 Wi-Fi router, will enable seamless 1 Gbps Wi-Fi coverage across Homes and Small Offices. This will unlock a great experience for online gaming and animation and for work or study from home with large number of concurrently connected devices. Small Offices will be able to deploy multiple high speed connections for applications such as stock trading and online collaboration that requires reliable high speed connectivity with zero downtime.      

Says Vir Inder Nath, CEO – Homes, Bharti Airtel: “Reliable high speed connectivity is a lifeline in today’s digital first world and Airtel is proud to be at the forefront of India’s broadband revolution. A key ask from our customers was liberation from the LAN cable to enjoy the 1Gbps experience and we are delighted to make that happen.”        

Airtel Xstream Fiber’s 1 Gbps broadband plan at Rs 3999 also comes with a complimentary Airtel Xstream Box that offers 550 TV channels and OTT content from the Airtel Xstream app library that includes over 10,000 movies & shows aggregated across 7 OTT apps and 5 studios. It offers subscription to premier video streaming apps such as Amazon Prime Video and ZEE5, all accessible through the Airtel Xstream Box.

Airtel is India’s largest private sector broadband service provider with presence in over 150 cities. 

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Networking

5 Things to Check for a Secure Home Wi-Fi Network

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Many people think that “no hacker would be interested in my home network.” But everyone has something that’s valuable to attackers: personal information, bank details, financial data, perhaps even a webcam that could let criminals know when you aren’t at home, or that might let creeps spy on you when you are.

And if you’re working from home, it’s worth remembering that for a skilled attacker it’s just a hop, skip and jump across the network from your personal computer or connected device to your work laptop, and possibly from there to the whole company network.

Tip 1. Apply those updates

“Patch early, patch often” is a regular mantra on Naked Security, and it applies to all access points, modems and routers you use for your home network, as well as all the devices that can connect to it.

Take a moment to check when your firmware was last updated. If it’s not up to date, patch without delay.

Set your devices to automatically install updates where possible. If you discover that you are unable to update (for instance, if the manufacturer is no longer providing support), consider migrating to a device that is properly supported.

Tip 2. Check your encryption settings

We recommend using at least WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption, also known as WPA2-CCMP. (PSK stands for Pre-Shared Key, which is the password you need to connect to the network in the first place.)

WPA2 was first ratified by the Wi-Fi Alliance in 2004. If the router you’re using doesn’t support WPA2, upgrade to a newer model that does.

Never use WEP, short for Wired Equivalent Privacy, because the encryption system it uses was cracked completely many years ago – it gives nothing but a false sense of security.

Tip 3. Pick a proper password

Pick a proper password for your Wi-Fi network.

It’s tempting to use a short and obvious password so it’s easy to type in on devices such as phones, or to read out for friends who want to join your network while they’re visiting.

But an obvious password makes it easy for people you haven’t invited onto your network to connect up as well. You only need to enter it once, so a little bit of extra hassle putting in the password in the first place is worth it to make it harder for outsiders to guess the password in future.

Remember also that if you have allowed a guest to access your network but then decide that you don’t want them connecting any more, you will need to change the password to keep them out.

Tip 4. Check who’s on your network

It’s worth taking a moment to see which devices have accessed your Wi-Fi network recently. Many routers have an option in their management pages, usually accessed via your browser, that will show you which devices have connected recently.

Are there any rogue computers online? Perhaps the teenager next door is still connected from their last babysitting session? Are there any home devices such as webcams or baby monitors that you’d forgotten about or thought you’d turned off?

If there are devices accessing your network that shouldn’t be, disconnect them. Changing the Wi-Fi password will stop any unwanted devices getting back online automatically.

Tip 5. Review your IoT devices

IoT is short for Internet of Things, and it refers to devices that didn’t used to be computers in their own right, such as webcams, smart speakers and doorbells, but that now connect to your Wi-Fi network by themselves, and operate independently.

Paul Ducklin’s recent article on 8 tips to tighten your work-from-home network included some great advice for securing IoT devices such as webcams and smart speakers. The main takeaways are:

  • Only connect devices that you really need to have online. Power down devices when you’re not using them.
  • Make sure you know how to update your devices.
  • Configure your devices correctly,
  • Change any risky settings, such as default passwords.
  • Check how much data you are sharing.
  • Put IoT devices on a ‘guest’ network if you can.
  • Turn on ‘client isolation’ if available.
  • Make sure you know who to turn to if you have a problem.

That said, we must take a deeper look at our security and check that everything is as it should be.

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