More reports on: Reliance Industries, Telecom

COAI rejects Jio plea for more points of interconnect

18 August 2016

The Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) has rejected Reliance Jio's request for additional points of interconnect from its member companies, saying the optimal link has already been provided.

''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. ''We understand Reliance Jio presently has approximately 2 to 3 million customers using their network. Hence, we are unable to substantiate Reliance Jio's claim for additional capacity.''

This was also conveyed to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) following a letter from Reliance Jio. Earlier, in its letter to the regulator, Reliance Jio requested directives to the existing service providers to immediately provide interconnection to its Jio 4G network with their own, in the spirit of the licensing agreements.

It also asked Trai to take appropriate action against those companies that delay such a provisioning of points of interconnect to Jio in ''gross violation'' of the licensing agreements and applicable regulations.

Quoting from licensing accords, Reliance Jio said in its letter to Trai chairman R S Sharma that operators must extend requisite points of interconnect, of sufficient capacity and in sufficient numbers to ensure that calls are completed to all destinations.

The company said the current number of interconnect points being provided to Reliance Jio are far from adequate as the failure rate is in excess of 65 per cent, resulting in more than 1.6 crore call failures per day between Reliance Jio and the networks of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.

On 12 August, chief executives of top mobile companies, under the umbrella of the COAI, called on communications minister Manoj Sinha to express concerns over alleged favouritism towards new players in the sector.

The meeting came a day after a rather unprecedented move, wherein the association even wrote to the Prime Minister's Office complaining about the industry watchdog and contending that some of its moves discriminated against existing players.

A similar missive was also flagged to the Department of Telecom (DoT), which also specifically alleged that Reliance Jio has launched a full commercial service in the garb of test runs, while expressing concern over some consultation papers floated by the watchdog recently. Reliance Jio had countered the claim, saying its tests are bona fide and were aimed at delivering high-quality service. (See: COAI meets with telecom authorities over Jio spat).

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