Trai Meets Warring Telcos and Reliance Jio Puts Out its Case

All major telecom operators discussed about offering inter-connectivity points to Reliance Jio. 

Tech News
2 min read
Telecom operators are lobbying hard to ensure Reliance Jio does not get inter-connectivity points. (Photo: iStock)

Sector regulator Trai on Friday met telecom operators Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea to discuss ongoing tussle over network interconnection. This meeting involved the COAI.

This is fight for justice, fight for customers. Not just Reliance Jio customers or Airtel or Vodafone but for all Indian customers.
Mahendra Nahata, Board Member, Reliance Jio Infocomm

Jio has accused incumbent telecom operators for not providing required number of equipment to connect its mobile network with theirs.

We have asked for right number of connect, right quantum of interconnection. We have put forth our point of view to Trai. It is for Trai to look into the matter. There is no time frame indicated by Trai.
Mahendra Nahata

As per the rule, interconnection among networks has to be done based on mutual agreement by telecom companies and any dispute in this regard should be brought to notice of Trai which can take decision on the matter.

Interconnection is required to enable mobile customers to make calls on number or to customers of any telecom company.

Industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which has been confronting Reliance Jio on behalf of incumbents, alleged it was kept out of the meeting on insistence of Reliance Jio.

“COAI has been kept out of the TRAI meeting at the insistence of RIL Jio, and TRAI acquiesced to their demand in an unprecedented manner,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said. But a Jio spokesperson denied these allegations.

Reliance Jio is also member of COAI, but has been sidelined by leading telecom operators in the association. Incumbent operators have sought clarity on whether the services of the new entrant are now “commercial” and if it is so, the company cannot offer free service for more than 90 days.

Reliance Jio has said its services are free till 31 December, following which consumers will be charged as per tariff plans that include free voice calls.

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