More reports on: Reliance Industries, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Telecom

Trai intervention raises hopes of Reliance Jio customers

10 September 2016

The telecom regulator's intervention yesterday had raised hopes of Reliance Jio customers that they would be able to connect to subscribers of rival operators such as Airtel, Vodafone and Idea cellular, while also enjoying their free voice calls on Jio, although they need to be prepared for a long wait.

In order to speak with subscribers of other operators, every telecom operator has an interconnection for their subscribers. Both sides (RJio and Airtel, Vodafone and Idea) are on negotiation of ''reasonable'' connectivity points.

''Interconnection is a complex issue. There are technical, legal, regulatory and financial issues and each one has to be addressed, so that the customer continues to get unhindered service,'' says NK Goyal, telecom analyst and founder of CMAI.

The outcome of the meeting was that all operators agreed to sit across the table and negotiate the ''reasonable'' incremental interconnect capacity to be provided to Reliance Jio. In case they were able to reach an agreement, they would have 90 days to comply with RJio's request for interconnection ports.

''It is definitely progress... this is certainly a breaking of the initial deadlock... expectations have been set and we hope this will lay down the basis of resolution,'' Rajan S Mathews COAI director general, said at a briefing.

Taking a serious view of the situation, Trai had given top telcos and Reliance Jio Infocomm an ultimatum to resolve the contentious interconnect matter among themselves. Trai's order also warned that it would act if quality of service dropped and consumers had to suffer, The Economic Times reported.

"If quality of service suffers, if consumers suffer, Trai will take action. That is Trai's job," a senior official told ET yesterday after the meeting. "The telcos should sit across the table and resolve it."

Top telcos, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, have been waging a war against newly launched Reliance Jio Infocom. Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio had sought an adequate number of PoIs for its service to which the top telcos did not show much interest in.

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