The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is now investigating new telecom entrant Reliance Jio on the basis of complaints lodged by incumbent operators including, Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone. As per a report by the Economic Times, the telecom watchdog has received complaints against the predatory nature of Reliance Jio’s free voice calling services.
Jio had announced free voice calls for lifetime at the commercial launch of its 4G-only network. Following the same, Airtel, Idea and Vodafone had raised the issues of predatory pricing and interconnect charges with the telecom regulator. The incumbent telcos had also refused to provide sufficient interconnect points to Jio, resulting in huge volumes of call failures and call drops from Jio to their networks.
TRAI rules mandate that tariffs by telecom operators cannot be predatory or discriminatory in nature, and should comply with the current Interconnect Usage Charges of 14p/minute. Speaking on the details of the complaint against Jio, TRAI Chairman RS Sharma told ET, “Operators have come and met us and in continuation with the letter they have submitted earlier, raised the interconnection usage charges (IUC), predatory and non-discriminatory pricing and other issues.” Vodafone India MD & CEO, Sunil Sood also told the publication that the TRAI Chairman has promised to look into the matter and will get back to the incumbent telcos soon.