Locked Horns: Reliance Jio Infocomm vs COAI/Airtel over Voice Services

By March 10th, 2013 AT 11:25 AM

Reliance Jio Infocomm vs AirtelThough India’s telecom sector is still messed up, pan-India BWA spectrum winner Reliance Jio Infocomm (formerly RIL Infotel Broadband) and mobile operators, especially GSM ones under COAI are locked horns regarding the permission of providing voice services by 4G/BWA players as well as internet service providers.

In India internet service providers (ISP) were not allowed to provide Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) services. But Telecom Commission allowed this recently and operators lobbies started spat. Specifically GSM operators are not afraid by these ISPs, but they are really scared of Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL), which has the ability to disrupt market with low priced devices and low tariff plans.

This permission gives more competition in the market, and ultimately customers will have more options to choose from – a win-win situation for them. Incumbent players – Airtel and Idea states as such they do not forsee any immediate threat from RJIL, but their representative body COAI, which is nothing but more of the spokesman of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea cartel is critsizing Govt. and DoT for the move. They tried to stop the move by severe lobbying but it could not stop Telecom Commission to allow BWA players to offer voice services.

In response to COAI’s allegation RJIL sent a letter to Telecom secretary R. Chandrashekhar, which says: “Rather than working for selfish and short term interests of its members, we would also like to appeal to COAI to work only in the interest of the nation and end consumers by fighting out the battle with the competitors in the open market rather than indulging in any disreputable practises,

Media report says Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries is going to play the similar price game to make Jio Infocomm another success. It is suggested that RIL subsidiary Jio Infocomm is in talks with Samsung to bring LTE-TD supported phones at as low as Rs 5,500.

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