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

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

 

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Mandar Sherbet
October 24, 2016 5:33 pm 5:33 PM

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
October 26, 2016 10:32 am 10:32 AM

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
October 24, 2016 2:34 pm 2:34 PM

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.

DGupta
October 24, 2016 11:26 am 11:26 AM
TRAI has recommended against license cancellation because of problems to users. But, licenses can be revoked without people losing connectivity for more than 2-3 hours. By allowing users to port out numbers to another network. This is what was done for Loop mobile in Mumbai when they were sold. The practical problem is that Airtel+Vodafone+Idea are responsible for 70%+ of Indian consumers! That’s why their cartel is so effective. So, who do you port out to? The best way is to break the cartel, by: 1. differentiating the worst offender. Issue a showcase notice for license cancellation only to the… Read more »
Kaushik
October 24, 2016 2:36 pm 2:36 PM

70% will change in two years to around 50-55% due to Jio effect and RCom/Aircel’s combined spectrum. This will cause some problems within COAI for sure. We’ll see what happens.

DGupta
October 24, 2016 3:30 pm 3:30 PM
It will happen only if the Jio service finds consumer adoption. If you can’t use it to reliably make phone calls, it’s only a data dongle! Jio will NOT hit the number of paid users it needs to break even if not enough people are willing to pay for this. Things like this have happened earlier. Motorola sunk billions into satelite phone service and then saw it go bust because not enough people were willing to pay for it. That’s what old GSM telcos are trying to achieve – hurt Jio customer adoption by killing the ability to make calls… Read more »
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