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Reliance Jio vs COAI: Here’s what has happened so far

COAI, a body that represents Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and others, is in an all-out war with Reliance Jio.

By: Tech Desk |
August 18, 2016 3:16:58 pm
COAI, Cellular Operators' Association of India, COAI vs Reliance Jio, Reliance Jio, Reliance Jio vs COAI, Jio 4G, Jio 4G SIM, Jio 4G services, Reliance Jio launch Reliance Jio vs COAI over network usage: Here’s all that has happened so far.

Reliance Jio’s 4G VoLTE services are due to launch this year, but the Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited is already involved in a public spat with other cellular operators in India. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), a body that represents Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and others, is battling it out with Reliance Jio, and has even gone to the Prime Minister’s office demanding an intervention.

Currently Jio is doing a beta-testing of its services, and Jio 4G SIMs are available to customers who have bought Lyf branded phones, or have high-end Samsung smartphones. Jio also expanded its 4G offer to customers who buy HP laptops and they can buy a JioFi portal WiFi device for Rs 2,899. The company has also tested its JioNet services for WiFi at stadiums across India during this year’s IPL tournament.

Reliance Jio’s entry will be significant in the market, given the company is rolling out a VoLTE and 4G only services and owns spectrum across the country. Reliance says it has over 1.5 million members testing out its services, a number that is disputed by the COAI, which claims Jio has double the users.

COAI claims Jio is choking networks of its members, and is giving out full-fledged services to customers under the guise of testing. Jio has denied all these claims.  Here’s a quick recap of all that has happened between Reliance Jio and COAI.

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COAI says no to Jio’s demand for more inter-connect points

It was reported this week that COAI has rejected Reliance Jio’s request for additional points of interconnect from its member companies. COAI says Jio has already been provided the optimal number of links, which can meet a capacity of 15-20 million customers.

Read more: Reliance Jio 4G SIM activation: Here is what the experience was like

“The members of COAI would like to clarify that they have already provided Reliance Jio with enough interconnect capacity to meet the usual demand of 15 to 20 million customers,” said COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews in a statement, according to IANS.  COAI also alleges Jio has 2 to 3 million users on their network, a charge the Mukesh Ambani firm has denied.

COAI has also submitted its decision on the inter-connect points to telecom regulator TRAI.

COAI, Cellular Operators' Association of India, COAI vs Reliance Jio, Reliance Jio, Reliance Jio vs COAI, Jio 4G, Jio 4G SIM, Jio 4G services, Reliance Jio launch Telecos have rejected Reliance Jio’s demand for more points of inter-connection.

Jio demands more inter-connection points, says telecos in breach of license agreement

Reliance Jio on its part has argued that telecos are working against the firm, and trying to block its entry in the market. Jio has also written to TRAI asking for more inter-connect points, and claims telecos are in breach of license agreement.

According to a report by PTI, Jio also asked “TRAI to take appropriate action against those companies that delay such a provisioning of points of interconnect”. Jio claims the current number of interconnect points are inadequate, and the company is seeing a call failure right higher than 65 per cent. Jio claims it has resulted in 1.6 crore call failures per day on calls between Reliance Jio and the networks of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.

Reliance Jio has also accused the firms of “breach” of the licence agreement by not providing these points. In a letter to TRAI, Jio complained of the same, accusing COAI members of “categorically” denying extra or additional points of inter-connect (POIs) to them.

Also read: Reliance Jio 4G service: SIM, speed-tests, pricing and everything else to know

COAI goes to PMO

On August 8, COAI sought meetings with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Minister of Communications to raise the issues against Reliance Jio and also complained against telecom regulator TRAI over alleged favouritism to new players.

COAI in its letter to the Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Nripendra Misra alleged Reliance Jio is bypassing regulations. Against TRAI, COAI complained some of the decisions “point to a pattern of discrimination against the existing mobile operators,” reports PTI.

COAI’s director general Rajan S Mathews, Bharti Airtel’s India & South Asia MD and CEO Gopal Vittal and Vodafone India’s CEO Sunil Sood also met the Secretary of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to raise these issues.

“The industry believes such an increasing disenfranchisement of existing operators through these regulatory decisions bodes ill for investments, industry growth, and customer services and upsets the well-established level-playing filed paradigm,” COAI said in its letter to Misra.

COAI also wrote to DoT and said all Reliance Jio connections should be stopped, because the company is offering full-fledged services under the guise of test connections. Jio in a counter statement called these charges as “malicious, unfounded, ill-informed, and frivolous”.

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