The spat between Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel continues with the former alleging the latter is denying requests for mobile number portability (MNP). Jio also said that Airtel has sought unilateral changes in the interconnect agreement. Bharti Airtel has, however, refuted the allegations.
Reliance Jio said that based on the current traffic flow between the two networks, the proposed augmentation by Airtel would only suffice for less than one-fourth of the required interconnection capacity. “Airtel has also been blocking the MNP facility for its subscribers wishing to subscribe to Jio services on baseless and unsubstantiated grounds,” a statement by Jio said.
Jio believes the new interconnect agreement although stating that three times the current number of points of interconnect (PoI) will be provided, would actually turn out to be half that number. As such, while an Airtel’s subscriber call to a Jio user would go through, the reverse would not take place, the Mumbai-based company alleges.
The statement comes a day after Airtel said it has received payments from Jio and would provide more PoIs as sought by the new entrant. The additional capacity will enable Jio to serve over 15 million users, Bharti had said. Bharti said it was awaiting a response from Jio to initiate testing the PoIs. “However, it is Jio that seems to be dilly-dallying on the issue and not cooperating deliberately. It appears that the constant rhetoric may be a ploy by Jio to cover up some technical issues in their own network, which is causing call failures. In addition, call drops or the lack of VoLTE stabilisation should not be hidden behind the issue of POIs, which are being augmented at regular and quick intervals,” Bharti said.
On Sunday, however, Reliance Jio cited the regulator as saying the interconnect points should be provided urgently for it to maintain quality of service parameters. The firm also alleged Bharti Airtel was abusing its dominant market position by insisting on “certain unilateral deviations” in the bilateral agreement, which could impact Jio’s expansion plans. Bharti says it has ensured that there is no capacity constraint from its side.
Bharti is also blocking MNP requests “on baseless and unsubstantiated grounds” which is “anti-competitive behaviour” Reliance Jio said. In response, Bharti said Jio’s allegations that it was blocking 69 odd port-out requests “sounds rather flimsy” as it ports-in and ports-out thousands of customers everyday from across operators. FE