Airtel, Vodafone, Idea & Telenor say Jio’s predatory pricing violating tariffs rules

By October 1st, 2016 AT 6:55 PM

Top telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular along with smaller GSM telco Telenor have approached the telecom regulator, Trai, to complain that Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio is violating tariff rules by offering free voice calls for life.

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They have also sought clarification from the regulator on whether Jio’s free voice and data offer from September 5 till the end of the year goes against norms that set a 90-day limit for promotional plans. According to reports, the telecom regulator would examine the issues raised by these telcos and may revert within a “week to 10 days.”

“Operators have come and met us and in continuation with the letter they have submitted earlier, raised the interconnection usage charges (IUC), predatory and non-discriminatory pricing and other issues,“ Trai chairman RS Sharma told media on Friday.

Sharma had called for the meeting after receiving letters from telcos that alleged Jio for violating tariff order. During the meeting operators alleged that Jio’s tariff is violating interconnection usage charge (IUC) tariff order and its tariffs are predatory.

According to some reports small carrier Telenor said that Jio’s predatory tariffs are hurting its business.
Bharti Airtel’s Gopal Vittal, Vodafone India chief executive Sunil Sood , Idea Cellular’s Himanshu Kapania and Pankaj Sharma, chief corporate affairs officer of Norwegian firm Telenor India, met Sharma. There was no representation from Jio.

After the meeting, Sood said that a common letter has been submitted and the TTO (Telecommunication Tariff Order) was discussed today. “Trai chairman said that he will examine the Jio tariff and look into the matter soon and get back to us,” he added.

Sharma also informed that the regulator has sought daily congestion reports from the incumbent service providers from September 19 onwards.

The regulator had earlier issued show cause notices to telcos after reviewing operator-wise data from September 15-19. It had said that telcos were prima facie found to be violating licence conditions related to interconnection and quality of service norms.

Reliance Jio and incumbent operators have been locking horns over issues like points of interconnection, IUC, call termination charges, and MNP.

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