Reliance Jio doesn’t need COAI intervention over interconnection issue: Report

Reliance Jio’s reluctance to discuss interconnection by involving the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has impacted the latter’s efforts to resolve the contentious inter-connection or PoI issue, the GSM body told a parliamentary panel.

The Mukesh Ambani-led telecom operator held that the COAI’s intervention is not warranted on a “bilateral matter”, A PTI report said.

The COAI has written to Anurag Singh Thakur, Chairman of Standing Committee on Information Technology, saying that the industry body invited all members for a meeting on November 16, which was in line with the Committee’s instruction to attempt to resolve points of interconnect (PoI) issue.

However, a day before the meeting Jio, through an email communication, stated that provision of PoIs is a subject matter which is inter se between the parties and the telco has been regularly intimating relevant operators regarding the requirement and provisioning of PoIs, a PTI report said. The meeting was subsequently called off.

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According to a COAI letter, seen by PTI, Jio said the matter is bilateral in nature, PoI is governed by licence conditions, inter-connection is subject to enforcement by DoT and Trai and the former is already seized of the matter.

Jio has maintained that the COAI has no role to play in the matter. Reliance Jio had earlier decided against attending the Cellular Operators Association of India’s (COAI) quarterly executive committee meeting held on November 11.

The Mukesh Ambani-led telecom operator has also been asking for a re-haul of COAI’s proportionate voting right rules that is currently based on revenue of member companies.

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It had first demanded a revamp of the industry body’s voting rules in September this year, and it had then alleged that these rules only served “vested interests” of three incumbent dominant operators (IDOs)— Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea and had said that these rules gave them the absolute control to influence any or all of the decisions of COAI.

The incumbent telcos enjoy 68 per cent of the total votes. COAI had then dubbed Jio as a back door operator (BDO). COAI represents GSM telcos like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, Telenor and Aircel. Reliance Jio is also a member of the association.

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