Reliance Jio has accused incumbent telecom majors such as Vodafone, Idea and Airtel of violating TRAI regulations. RCom has alleged that its rivals have withheld Points of interconnection (PoI) which has resulted in call failures on the network. Jio also holds incumbent telcos responsible for all consequences and has asked its rivals to follow Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) October 7 directions, asking them to adhere to the quality of service (QOS) rules.
According to ET, in letters sent to the telcos, Jio has stated that the call failure rate on Vodafone and Idea networks is 63% and 44% respectively. It has accused them of deliberately withholding interconnection points, the way a call from one network connects to another. It has also written to Bharti Airtel, where the call failure rate was over 29%. The maximum call failure rate permitted by regulations is 0.5%.
In its letters, Jio stated, “As you are aware, you never adhered to the schedule for providing E1s (PoIs) under one pretext or the other and this continues to date.” It added, “None of the pretexts raised by you have any standing based on facts or on law inasmuch as your obligation to provide the requisite E1s to meet the QoS regulations are not contingent on any reasons or restrictions.” The letter stated that the call failures would continue so long as Jio’s demands for PoIs are not met.
Earlier this year RCom had asked the telecom players to provide PoIs for a projected 22 million customers by June 2016, 50 million by September 2016, 75 million by December 2016 and 100 million customers by March 2017. The alleged unwillingness to release the adequate PoIs has become the centre of a bitter dispute between Jio and its rival players. On September 23 Jio claimed that it was facing the failure of as many as 120 million phone calls every day. The incumbents on the other hand have claimed that enough PoIs have been released and have filed complaints with TRAI. Airtel had also claimed that Reliance Jio had not adequately tested its network and was under-prepared for a nationwide launch. However TRAI had backed Jio on the issue and asked Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel to file compliance reports by October.
In September 2016, TRAI had also issued show cause notices to Vodafone, Idea and Airtel and gave them 10 days to explain why punitive measures should not be initiated against them for their failure to adhere to regulations. Subsequently R S Sharma, Chairman, TRAI had stated that TRAI had received their replies to the show cause notices and a decision would be taken soon.