Idea Cellular, today said that it welcomes Jio, and remains committed to facilitate its seamless entry into the hyper-competitive market. Idea Cellular has in the past been providing and augmenting Points of Interconnect (POIs) very liberally and we will continue to support all new operators for all their reasonable, fair and legitimate requirements of POIs.
In the month of August 2016 there were a total of 2.97 million unique Jio subscribers who terminated calls on the Idea network. Our current allocation of POIs would in normal circumstances cater to 4.65 million such subscribers indicating a buffer of 57% in calling capacity. Idea has now decided to proactively, expand capacity with Jio to over 6.5 million subscribers, with the release of 196 additional POIs, shortly. This additional capacity will provide for a buffer of 119% against the August subscriber volumes.
Separately, TRAI has been informed that in August 2016, there existed an unprecedented asymmetry of traffic of 14.5 times between Idea and Jio. Never, ever, has such a high asymmetry been observed with a new operator in the past. Idea has already submitted to the TRAI, via the “Accounting Separation Report” for FY16, that its real cost of termination is significantly higher than the current interconnect settlement charge of 14 paise per minute as prescribed in the present IUC regime. The Company is incurring increasing costs due to this high level of traffic asymmetry.
Unless controlled, this induced traffic asymmetry is expected to exacerbate the loss in the coming months. We await Regulatory intervention to address this fundamental issue of induced asymmetry of traffic and ensure compliance to the existing Regulatory Principles of IUC Compliance, Non-Discrimination, and Non-Predation, as per TRAI’s 30th Amendment to Telecommunication Tariff Order dated 16th January 2004.
We are hopeful that the TRAI will urgently examine these threshold issues and will ensure that all parties are compliant to the letter and spirit of the Law.