TRAI recommends DOT a fine of Rs. 3,050 crore to Airtel, Idea, Vodafone for not providing sufficient POIs to Reliance Jio

By October 22nd, 2016 AT 12:23 AM

India’s telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommends Department of Telecommunication (DOT) to fine the incumbents with Rs. 3,050 crore for denying sufficient Points-of-Interconnection (PoI) to Reliance Jio. The penalty is combined for Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, and Vodafone India. The regulator pointed out that the aim of the incumbents was to toughen the competition and it resulted in poor quality service to the people.

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The letter issued by TRAI today evening said that violating license norms warranted revocation of license, but since it would cause significant inconvenience to consumers, it has instead suggested penalties.

“It is evident that Bharti Airtel is in non-compliance with the terms and conditions of license and denial of interconnection to RJIL (Reliance Jio) appears to be with ulterior motive to stifle competition and is anti-consumer…the act of Bharti Airtel is against the public interest,” the letter stated.

Airtel received the penalty for 21 circles with each circle charged with Rs. 50 crore, which totals up to Rs. 1050 crore. Vodafone India too received the penalty for 21 circles. Idea Cellular was levied with the penalty for 19 circles, meaning its total charges come around Rs. 950 crores.

The issue of points-of-interconnection between Reliance Jio and incumbents has been prevailing in the industry for long. Lack of adequate points of interconnect or PoIs, required for voice calls to go through from one network to another, created call drops from Jio to other networks. Reliance Jio strongly condemned the act of incumbents through numerous letters to TRAI and media. According to Reliance, the company has anticipated a huge customer base for it services in advance and subsequently warned incumbent operators three months prior to provide sufficient PoIs, which they purposefully denied.

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Mandar Sherbet
Mandar Sherbet

Yesterday evening, I dialed an Airtel number & was able to connect in first try. A few minutes later, I dialed another Airtel number & again was connected in first attempt!! Just could not believe it. Later I dialed a Vodafone number & got connected in 3rd attempt. Again a big achievement!! But connecting to a Tata DoCoMo number still takes atleast 5-6 tries or more. Sigh… This I am talking about Maharashtra circle.

Mitali Khetani
Mitali Khetani

JIO should now fight with TATA Docomo. Tata Docomo must be fined by TRAI. Calls from JIO are blocked by TATA DOCOMO. Next TRAI should penalise TATA DOCOMO.

Kaushik
Kaushik

RCom’s statements in the comments on IUC consultation paper fall only slightly short of taking a direct potshot at the top 3. RCom seems very confident about something (unlike Aircel, Tata)….I think something has already been decided between Jio, RCom, Aircel and maybe even TRAI.

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