Rediff.com« Back to articlePrint this article

We won't take Jio's call: Telcos tell PMO

September 07, 2016 20:02 IST

COAI sid the huge volume of traffic from RJio will pull down the weighted average voice realisation for other operators from 30-40 paise to 22-25 paise per minute or lower

Continuing with its letter war against free-voice-call-provider Reliance Jio, the association of telecom operators like Airtel has told Prime Minister's Office that incumbents are "not obliged to entertain interconnect requests" that are "anti-competitive".

Telecom operators' body COAI has written to the PMO seeking its intervention on the issue to "restore fair competition".

“They (operators) 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," COAI said in a letter to the PMO.

"(RJio seeks to) offload tsunamis of asymmetric voice traffic at IUC terms which will choke and financially destroy competition. IUC regimes anywhere in the world are meant to facilitate fair competition, and are not designed for such abuses," COAI said.

The body said the free call offer by the new operator will result in the total voice minutes generated by RJio alone to be equivalent to those generated by all other Indian operators put together.

"...in a very short time, other operators will have to handle voice traffic which is double their total present traffic. Of course, this is fanciful, because networks would have collapsed earlier," it said.

COAI added that the huge volume of traffic from RJio will pull down the weighted average voice realisation for other operators from 30-40 paise to 22-25 paise per minute or lower, making it financially difficult for other telecom firms to operate.

Reliance Jio, which commercially launched its services on September 5, has accused incumbent players like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone of not releasing sufficient interconnection ports during its test run of services.

The existing operators (under the aegis of COAI) have contended that RJio's testing of network was an effort to bypass regulations.

Speaking at the AGM of Reliance Industries, its chief Mukesh Ambani had said Reliance Jio customers suffered 5 crore call failures in the previous week to other networks due to insufficient interconnect capacity.

Referring to the free voice calls by RJio as a "free lunch", COAI said RJio seeks to pass the "overwhelming burden" on to rival operators through tariff manipulations which "exploit and game the IUC regime".

Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.