War of words: Reliance Jio slams COAI for sabotaging its entry, maligning name

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Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm on wednesday slammed the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which represents GSM telecom operators, for sabotaging its entry in the telecom market. The 4G entrant, in letters to telecom secretary JS Deepak and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman RS Sharma, said that the GSM industry body was trying to malign its name.


Jio also said that COAI’s allegations and claims are "malicious, unfounded, ill-informed and frivolous" and have been made with "ulterior motive" of promoting vested interests of incumbent operators. The GSM lobby body had on Monday accused Jio of bypassing regulations by offering full-fledged services under the guise of test connections. The body had written to the telecom department to immediately ask Reliance Jio to stop all connections provided to 1.5 million users.

COAI had also alleged that the volume of voice traffic generated by Jio due to the free services was choking points of interconnect and in turn impairing service quality of other operators. Jio said it had duly informed the need and process of test trials to the DoT and Trai from time to time. It added that the test trials were in accordance with the terms of licence. Jio said that it needs to test the network at the fullest possible load, which is why it was seeking an augmented capacity from incumbent telecom operators. It said that such tests are required since it is Introducing a completely end to end IP-based network.

“COAI has deliberately indulged in an unwarranted vilification campaign, not only against Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, but also against Trai, without any basis whatsoever,” Jio said in its letters.

Jio also added that COAI is dominated by a few operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. Notably, Reliance Jio is also a member of COAI. The Mukesh Ambani-led telco said that it didn’t violate any license conditions in seeking an increase in the points of interconnect from incumbent telcos. Jio said that the top three incumbent operators are opposing the downward revision of the rates charged from users on termination of calls on other networks, called IUC.

“Though, needless to clarify, currently there would be more outgoing calls from 35 percent plus subscribers to 65 percent subscribers, which in effect means significant and increased IUC inflow in the hands of current dominant incumbent operators, effectively stifling the other operators, including the later and new entrant operators," Jio said in the letter.

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Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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