The subscribers and the people in the industry are now aware of the ongoing tussle between the Mukesh Ambani led telecom operator, Reliance Jio and the other incumbents over the ringing time of calls. To recall, a few days back, Reliance Jio had reduced the ringing time of calls being made from its network to other networks down to 20 seconds. This move was not liked by the other telecom operators, and they demanded a raise in the ringing time to 30 seconds. However, in a new move reported by ET, the new telecom operator has only increased the ringing time by 5 seconds to 25 seconds. But, the rival telcos are still not satisfied with this increase as they stick to their demand of at least 30 seconds of ringing time on the calls made from Reliance Jio network.
Reliance Jio Stands for 20 Seconds Ringing Time on Outgoing Calls
In this matter, a person aware of the developments has said, that Reliance Jio has “increased the ring time for outgoing calls to 25 seconds — from 20 seconds — as an interim step till the sector regulator issues final guidelines on the matter.” Following the new change in the ringing time made by Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel also reached out to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) saying that it would also have to cut down its ringing time down to 20 seconds for the outgoing calls being made from its network. Bharti Airtel also urged Trai to direct Reliance Jio to increase the call ringing duration. Currently, this remains one of the matters of debate between Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.
The Matter of IUC Payouts
It is crucial to note that the lowering of ringing time on its outgoing calls has sparked a debacle between Airtel and Reliance Jio regarding an extensive matter of Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC). As per Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio has reduced its ringing time on the outgoing calls because it would allow the telco to receive more calls from the other networks, thus reducing its expense. It’s notable that IUC is the charge that the originating telecom operator pays for a call to the operator which carries the call. Since, currently, Reliance Jio boasts of a massive subscriber base in the country, and more and more users are dialling numbers from Reliance Jio, the telecom operator has a massive IUC expense at the end of each month. According to Bharti Airtel’s allegations, this move by Reliance Jio is an attempt to ‘game’ the IUC rules in the country.
Rival Telcos Pushing for 30 Seconds of Ringing Time
In a Trai meeting, all the telecom operators had agreed that 30 seconds was the appropriate ringing time for outgoing calls. Whereas, Reliance Jio had said that 25 seconds time would be the appropriate limit. The extra time, Reliance Jio said, would not be optimum use of network resources and waste of spectrum. Now, the sector regulator, Trai has also put out a consultation paper on the topic, 'Duration of alert for the called party’, seeking the views of experts on what the duration of the outgoing call ring should be.
The regulator has also asked the telcos to reach a common answer as to what the ringing time should be. Reliance Jio has said that the lower network costs on its balance sheets are because of the deployment of the 4G VoLTE technology, unlike the other telcos’ 2G customers who are charged Rs 1.5 per minute for calls. This is also the reason as per the telco why its network is being bombarded by numerous missed call alerts from the other networks. It is also true that right now, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are the net gainers in the IUC payouts because of the network asymmetry.