- Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman Bharti Airtel has now said that Airtel will provide Jio with all the connectivity it wants.
- A sudden change in stance given the extremely acrimonious exchanges that both sides have recently indulged in
In an interview with The Economic Times, Mittal recently said, that he has met Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani to discuss interconnectivity. "I can assure through your paper that points of interconnection (PoIs) will not be the issue and cannot be an issue in terms of obstacle for the launch of Jio. I have told this to Mukesh (Ambani). We have met, we have spoken and this is being done," said Mittal.
A sea-change in stance given the recent punches that both sides have been raining on each other
Following are the keys ones -
- Earlier this week, Reliance Jio had accused Bharti Airtel of providing less than one-fourth of the necessary interconnect points to complete calls between the two networks, a charge vehemently denied by the Sunil Mittal-led firm which said it is a ploy to cover up technical issues in its own network.
- Jio had alleged that Airtel was abusing its market dominance and was indulging in "anti-competitive behaviour." It put the blame for over two crore call failures everyday squarely on Airtel.
- Jio said, "It is apparent that Airtel continues to abuse its market dominance by imposing onerous conditions which will imminently hinder RJIL's ability," it said in a statement."It appears that the QoS (Quality of Service) will continue to suffer and Indian customers will be denied the benefits of superior and free voice services as a result of such anti-competitive behaviour," it added.
- Jio had also said two crore calls fail daily as the largest telecom operator dilly dallies on adequate PoIs. "Based on the current traffic flow between the two networks, the proposed augmentation by Airtel would still only suffice for less than one-fourth of the required interconnection capacity," it said.
- Airtel retorted, "These are rhetorical statements made by Reliance Jio, following the bilateral discussions on September 13, 2016, Airtel has agreed to release the additional PoIs to Jio on the same day itself and raised the demand notes on September14, 2016. "With the latest augmentation, the total number of PoIs provided will become three times the present number of PoIs. This capacity will be sufficient to serve over 15 million customers, which is much more than their present subscriber base and their demand for 10 million projected customers."
- Reliance Jio, had sought legal action against Airtel and other telcos not providing connectivity. Ambani on September 1, had alleged that the Jio network had suffered 5 crore call failures in the preceding week due to inter-connectivity issues. Telecom regular, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) intervened to resolve the matter. According to sources, the regulator had said that it will take action against telecom operators found responsible for poor quality of service. Airtel had then said that it was a responsible organisation committed to complying with the regulations and the interconnect agreements in letter and spirit and will continue to be so. Inter-connection is required to enable mobile users to make calls to customers of other telecom networks. A mobile operator levies inter-connection usage charge for each incoming call it gets from subscriber of another network.
- Airtel and other telecom operators have been demanding higher interconnection charges compared to 14 paise they get for each incoming mobile call on their network. Airtel, which is the country's largest operator with 255.73 million subscribers, had also extended an invitation to Jio for discussing its requirement of additional PoIs. Airtel expressed hope that TRAI will look into the issue of asymmetric traffic on an urgent basis.
- Airtel and other telcos had even approached the Prime Ministers office earlier and said," That they wish to politely clarify that they are in no position, by way of network resources, or financial resources, to terminate volumes of traffic which are markedly asymmetric. Neither are they obliged to entertain interconnect requests which are derived from abnormal induced traffic patterns that game the IUC regime and are anti-competitive."
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:36 PM