Bharti Airtel Hits Back At Reliance Jio for Trying to Mislead Trai on IUC Charges

Indian telecom leader, Bharti Airtel has accused Reliance Jio of trying to mislead the telecom authorities to bring down the interconnect usage charge (IUC) through a misinformation campaign. Just yesterday, Reliance Jio alleged Airtel says that the latter is trying to ‘create a smokescreen to hide its ill-gotten profits’ under the current IUC method.

Airtel

However, Airtel on Tuesday alleged that Jio is ‘exaggerating and distorting’ the figures of India’s oldest telecom operators, thus far, making false claims to mislead the telecom authorities and even public to turn policy in its favour. Airtel also urged to the telecom operator as not to get “swayed by such falsehoods”, and decide the IUC charges based on Reliance Jio claims.

“This is nothing but a part of RJio’s sinister campaign aimed at misleading the authorities and public-at-large during the ongoing IUC consultation process,” Airtel said in a letter to Trai chairman RS Sharma, dated September 12. “Their whole objective is to bring down the IUC through the misinformation campaign, with RJio being the sole beneficiary of the lower IUC.” Economic Times has reportedly seen the copy of the letter.

In its response, Airtel said Tuesday, “We believe that RJio’s allegations are not only baseless but are part of a campaign based on falsehoods and aimed at misleading the Authorities to create policy bias in its favour… We urge the authority not to be swayed by such falsehoods.”

IUC or interconnect usage charge is a fee that the caller’s operator needs to pay to the other operator if a mobile call terminates at the latter’s network. For example, if you are an Idea customer and make a call to a Vodafone subscriber, and Idea has to pay 14 paise per minute of IUC to Vodafone for the call.

Incumbent operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea want the IUC fee of 14 paise per minute to be increased as they claim the actual cost of terminating a call on their network is 35 paisa per minute. So it causes a loss 21 paisa per minute for a call originating from the other telecom operator. To counter the above allegation by Airtel, Jio alleged the incumbent operators have earned more than Rs 1.2 lakh crore on account of IUC as they have not yet implemented BAK.

However, according to incumbent telecom operators, they never made a profit out of IUC. In fact, Airtel reported losses of Rs 6,800 crore in the last five years due to the current IUC charges.

“We are amused to see that Reliance Jio has deliberately ignored the fact that IUC is an inter-operator settlement and no operator pays IUC for the on-net calls, as these are intra network calls,” Airtel said in its letter. “It is pertinent to note that RJio has been propagating these misleading numbers since Trai’s IUC workshop held on 18 July 2017, and (they) are now struggling to justify those inflated figures,” said Airtel in its letter.

This looks like a never ending war from Airtel and Reliance Jio, and it’s interesting to see Trai’s decision on the interconnect usage charge.

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8 Comments on "Bharti Airtel Hits Back At Reliance Jio for Trying to Mislead Trai on IUC Charges"

 

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Himangshu
September 14, 2017 7:11 pm 7:11 PM

But these chors AIRTEL, VODAFONE, IDEA and all except Jio charges Rs .50 paisa per minute from the customers…so Total benifit per minute is .33 paisa per minute call….. Still they are telling that they are in loss……… AVOID group………….really u should be shut down your buisness…

Girish Gowda
September 14, 2017 9:34 pm 9:34 PM

50 ps? LOL. Its Rs. 1.20/min on Airtel even now.

Syam
September 14, 2017 8:52 am 8:52 AM
I think ICU should be fixed as per wish of avoid group. If they say 35 paisa fix it, even 50 paise fix it. Then Jio or bsnl should charge that amount from customer to call to avoid network and call within same network free. That will be huge loss for avoid because everyone will portout from them. Even now people are using avoid number to receive calls and secondary number most probably jio for calling and internet. By increasing ICU above limit and jio starts charging for call to avoid all this secondary numbers will become primary numbers and… Read more »
Kiran Fernandes | Goa
September 14, 2017 11:41 am 11:41 AM

Why should jio pay avoid for calls terminating at their network? Jio wants to make one india one rate. Avoid doesn’t want that. They don’t want competition. They dint bother to improve their networks to support the demand for voice and data. It’s time they stop their 2g and 3g networks(yeah 3g uses age old circuit switched network too). They should provide only 4g networks. If avoid comes to a loss, that’s their problem. Jio thinks of the customer. Avoid thinks of themselves.

Arena
September 13, 2017 10:13 pm 10:13 PM
Its clear that Airtel is making smoke to hide its profits..Airtel has nothing to prove but saying jio is bluffing to bring ICU even lower…..logically 35ps make no sense and 14ps makes no sense to invest more on loosing game. It’s clearly avoid group is misleading Trai, users by not disclosing real profits, not investing in new technologies, excellent 2g , IRCA.. ICU is only for dominance and to drag R&D, innovation backwards. That 35ps is artificial made cost. One should understand cost to complete a call is only electricity cost after all infrastructure in place….so network capacity X (say… Read more »
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