RJio wants a free ride with zero IUC: Airtel

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 11, 2018 Published on July 20, 2017

Bharti Airtel on Thursday said Reliance Jio wants to simply transfer its cost to other operators by proposing a zero interconnection usage charge (IUC) regime.

Interconnection charges are paid by the operator on whose network the call originates to the one on whose the call terminates. Under this system, Jio ends up paying more money to incumbent operators like Airtel. Therefore, RJio has proposed a ‘Bill and Keep’ regime which effectively does away with this charge.

“By proposing a transition to the ‘Bill and Keep’ regime with zero mobile termination charge (MTC), Jio wants to simply transfer its cost to Airtel and other operators,” Airtel said. As per current estimates, this cost will be to the tune of ₹15,000-20,000 crore per year for the industry, and will only increase going forward. Such cost transfer will allow Jio to use its muscle power and price its services in a predatory manner to kill the rest of the industry and create a monopoly, Airtel said.

Ravi Gandhi, Chief Regulatory Officer, Airtel, said: “In effect, Jio aims to build its business by getting a free ride on the highways built by Airtel and other operators. Their proposal will further burden other operators and make them weak. At the same time, it allows Jio to continue with its strategy of predatory pricing and ultimately throttle all competition.”

The incumbent operator said that allegations made by Jio regarding Airtel earning excess revenue from MTC are “not only false, but laughable.”

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Published on July 20, 2017
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