Airtel-RJio interconnect war erupts again

Priya sundarajan | | Updated on: Sep 18, 2016
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The peace deal brokered by the telecom regulator between Reliance Jio and incumbent operators has failed, with the latter accusing the former of using interconnection as a ploy to cover up deficiencies in its network.

This comes even as RJio blamed Airtel for blocking the entry of the new operator by denying Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and deviating from licence conditions, while allocating new points of interconnection (POI).

Denying the allegations made by RJio, Airtel said it has provided interconnection capacity to support 15 million users, which is more than Reliance’s current subscriber base.

“It appears that the constant rhetoric may be a ploy by Jio to cover up some technical issues in their own network, which is causing call failures, by constantly blaming other operators. In addition, call drops or the lack of Voice over LTE stabilisation should not be hidden behind the issue of POIs, which are being augmented at regular and quick intervals,” Airtel said in a statement.

This came after RJio said that the quantum of POIs proposed to be released by Airtel is substantially less than the requirement.

Denied benefits “Based on the current traffic flow between the two networks, the proposed augmentation by Airtel would still only suffice for less than one-fourth of the required interconnection capacity,” RJio said, adding that more than two crore calls, between Airtel and Reliance networks, are failing every day.

Earlier, in a meeting called by TRAI, the incumbent operators had agreed to release additional interconnection so that it does not affect quality of service (QoS) parameters.

While all three major operators — Airtel, Idea and Vodafone — have released new interconnections points, Rjio says this wasn’t enough.

RJio has also blamed Airtel for deviating from the prescribed formula for interconnection agreements.

“It appears that the QoS will continue to suffer and Indian customers will be denied the benefits of superior and free voice services as a result of such anti-competitive behaviour,” RJio said, adding that Airtel has also been blocking the MNP facility for its subscribers on baseless and unsubstantiated grounds.

Airtel, on the other hand, termed these allegations as rhetorical and flimsy.

“Airtel ports-in and ports-out thousands of customers every day from across operators, and the allegation of blocking 69-odd port-out requests from Jio sounds rather flimsy,” it said.

Published on January 16, 2018

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