Idea Cellular has suspended interconnect services with Aircel due to non-payment of dues. Idea has sent out a media release stating the same. The telco also confirmed that it sent out several reminders for releasing the dues since November 2017, but Aircel has failed to meet the payment commitments, which forced Idea to suspend interconnect services. This essentially means that Aircel customers won’t be able to make a voice call to Idea Cellular network.
The country’s third largest telecom service provider also said that the suspension of interconnect services are as per the terms of interconnect agreement between both parties.
“Idea Cellular regrets the inconvenience caused to mobile users who are unable to connect with each other. We sincerely hope that the operator will honour its contractual obligation and payment commitment, in the interest of customers,” said the company in the statement.
Aircel has been going through a rough patch in recent times. The telco already closed 2G services in six circles- Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh (West). Aircel has asked the existing subscribers in said regions to port out to another network by March 10, 2018.
For the unaware, interconnect charges is a fee paid by one telecom company to another when a customer on the former network calls a number on the latter’s network. Trai, in September 2017, cut down the IUC charges to 6 paise per minute from the earlier 14 paise per minute. The new IUC are already effective, and Trai also stated that the IUC would go away in 2020.
Back then, it was said that smaller players such as Aircel and RCom would be affected more than larger telcos due to the lower IUC and we’re witnessing it already.