Following the recent penalty recommended by the telecom regulator, Bharti Airtel on Thursday provided over 7,000 additional Points of Interconnect (PoIs) to Reliance Jio, taking the total number of PoIs provided till date to over 17,000, a capacity sufficient to serve over 75 million customers.
TRAI recently suggested imposition of Rs. 1,050 crores penalty on Bharti Airtel over interconnect issue with Reliance Jio. The telco subsequently said that there was confusion and it was hoping of objective outcome.
“With the latest augmentation, Airtel has now provided Jio the capacity to cater to 75 million customers. This is well ahead of the time-frame, since there are currently only 25 million customers making calls to the Airtel network from Jio,” the telco said.
In a statement, Airtel said that the new PoIs will ensure that the quality of service (QoS) is maintained and the customers are not inconvenienced. It also claimed that it has been providing PoIs to Jio, even before the commencement of Jio’s commercial operations.
India’s top telecom operator however reiterated its concerns over asymmetry of calls terminating on the Airtel network from Jio due to free services being offered by Jio. It urged the Trai to examine the “incredible” asymmetry of calls between the two networks, and said that this continued asymmetry will degrade the customer experience for Airtel customers over time and melt down networks.
Following the commercial launch of services by Jio on September 5, 2016, Airtel claimed that it has released PoIs at “a staggering pace”, well ahead of its bilateral and regulatory obligations.
The telco further claimed that the number of PoIs provided by Airtel to Jio is more than 2.5 times the number provided to an existing operator with a comparable subscriber base.
At a meeting on November 1, 2016 in the presence of the TRAI, Jio asked Airtel to provide sufficient POIs in line with its forecast of June 2016.
“Our regulatory obligations permit us to provide interconnect in a period of 90 days. With this augmentation Airtel has provided Jio capacity that is comparable to operators with six to eight times the customer base of Jio, in mere nine weeks of their launch,” Airtel said.
The Sunil Mittal-led telco said that it expects Jio to ensure that the additional POIs be operationalised with the same alacrity. “This will help identify any network related issues, which Jio may have in their network should any problems persist, given the massive over capacities provided by us,” it added.
Airtel said that Jio has already provided us their future requirements for capacities at 100 million customers. “As and when they ramp up their current subscriber base, we will further augment capacities ahead of time, as we have always done. As a responsible organization, Airtel is committed to complying with all TRAI regulations and Interconnect Agreements in letter and spirit and will continue to be so in future as well,” the telco added.