Telecom regulator Trai has called a meeting with telecom operators to resolve the ongoing dispute involving Reliance Jio and incumbent telecom operators such as Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular over interconnection points.
On Friday, Trai officials will meet regulatory representatives of Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio to discuss the issue of points of interconnection (PoI).
The meeting, which comes less than a week after Reliance Jio announced its commercial launch, looks to settle the debate between the two sides, wherein Reliance Jio has raised concerns over the incumbents denying enough points of interconnect, due to which calls on its network are witnessing high amount of failures, and the representative body of the other operators — The Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI) — refusing any additional PoIs saying that “adequate number” of PoIs have been provided. COAI claims that traffic generated by Reliance Jio is skewed in its favour due to the free services it is providing.
Point of interconnection is the physical linking between the network of one operator to the equipment of another, thus enabling a subscriber of one operator to call a user of another operator.
COAI has said that because Reliance Jio is offering free services to its users, the traffic generated is unnatural, and even at a time when there were only 1.5 million test users on Reliance Jio’s network, other operators were witnessing choking due to the unexpected traffic.
COAI has said that the total voice minutes generated by Reliance Jio have been projected to be equal to the total voice minutes generated by all other operators.
On the other side of the debate, Reliance Jio has said due to lack of adequate PoIs, 15 lakh test users of the companies have experienced 65 per cent call failures and that incumbents are obliged to provide enough PoIs to any operator without bias according to the licencing conditions. It has also claimed that this has resulted in 1.6 crore call failures per day on calls between Reliance Jio and the networks of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.
The two parties have written to the telecom regulator and Department of Telecommunications (DoT), with the COAI even writing to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking its intervention to ensure fair play. Reliance Jio also recently wrote to the DoT requesting it intervene in the debate surrounding the points of interconnect. DoT then responded back saying that the issue fell under the jurisdiction of the sector regulator.