Reliance Jio charges Airtel of violating licence pact
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio on Thursday slammed market leader Bharti Airtel for providing only one-way points of interconnects (POIs) for completing calls rather than both-way nodes in violation of licence agreement.
Hours after Airtel said it provided 7,007 additional points of interconnections (POIs) needed to complete calls made from rival Reliance Jio network, Jio said over 4.6 crore calls between its network and Airtel fail due to inadequate points of interconnect (POI) provided by the market leader.
Reliance Jio hoped the situation will improve now that Airtel has consented to offering additional POIs.
"However, Airtel has continued to violate the Interconnection Agreement by offering one-way E1s as against both-way E1s as provided for in the Agreement, which would have resulted in much more efficient utilisation of interconnection resources," Reliance Jio said in a statement.
Airtel had earlier in the day stated that over 17,000 POIs provided so far, including the latest ones, are sufficient for 75 million customers and asked sector regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to examine incredible asymmetry of calls that have the potential to "degrade consumer experience and meltdown networks".
"With regard to the traffic asymmetry issue, the current traffic pattern is completely in line with what is expected in a new network. It would tend to move towards balanced traffic as the network matures and has sufficient scale," Jio said.
The Mukesh Ambani-led firm said it welcomes release of the PoIs consequent to the meeting called on the issue by Telecom Minister earlier this week.
"There are no network related issues that Reliance Jio (RJio) has faced beyond the acute shortage of POIs provided by Airtel and other incumbent operators. It may be noted that there are no failures in on-net calls, while over 4.6 crore calls are still failing every day between Jio and Airtel," Jio said.
Jio said the allocation was long overdue as more than 280 crore calls have failed between its network and Airtel over the last three and a half months because of "absolute shortage of POI capacity."
All operators, it said, have a "mandatory and unconditional obligation under the licence to provide adequate POIs to all the other operators. This is irrespective of the status of operations of the other operators or the traffic pattern and is not a favour to any operator."
"The contention that regulatory obligations permit to provide interconnect in a period of 90 days is misplaced considering the severe quality of service and congestion issues that the non-provision of POIs has caused. There is no entitlement of timing when it comes to such severe breach of QOS as against the 90 days indicated by Airtel," it said.
Reliance Jio said there has been no delay in operationalising POIs at its end. "On the contrary, Jio has been consistently following-up with Airtel and the other incumbent operators over the last several months for augmentation of interconnection capacity. These requests had been denied by Airtel and the other incumbent operators in complete breach of their license conditions."
It hoped that Airtel will continue to release adequate POIs going forward to ensure Trai mandated congestion of less than five per 1,000 calls at all times.