Published On: Tue, Feb 7th, 2017

Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited terms latest media statement of Airtel as malicious, misleading

Share This

jioMumbai: Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) has noted the release of media statement by Airtel regarding provisioning of adequate POI capacity to RJIL and terms it as malicious and misleading. This latest statement is a continuation of Airtel’s ongoing mischievous and motivated campaign to divert attention from its anti-competitive and anti-consumer actions and violations of license conditions which are being investigated by the Authorities.

The fact is that over 2.6 crore NLD calls are still failing daily amounting to 53.4% call failure (as on 31-Jan-2017) as against TRAI norm of 0.5%. The following table provides a snapshot of POIs required at different points of time and the POIs provided by Airtel:
It is evident from the above that:

i) Inspite of intervention by Authorities and censure proceedings against Airtel, NLD call failure rate was at 53.4% as against TRAI norm of 0.5%;

ii) There has always been a lag in POIs required and POIs provided by Airtel resulting in severe service issues for Indian customers;

iii) There are no technical issues in the RJIL network as evident from the fact that call failures on access network have reduced from 59.1% to 0.6% (as on 31-Jan-2017) after Airtel was compelled to provide POIs post intervention by the Authorities. Further, there are no call failures in Jio-to-Jio calls.

Airtel’s claim of having provided 35,000 POIs to Jio is misleading given that in reality, it has not even done port allocation (first step of implementation) for over 1,100 of these POIs. Airtel continues to issue demand notes for these POIs to slow down the process, whereas no payment is due under the Interconnection Agreement. As has been repeatedly pointed out to Airtel, there has been no delay whatsoever in activating POIs by RJIL. The reasons range from long delay in allocation of POIs by Airtel, lack of media readiness of Airtel, use of electrical interfaces etc. There has been no delay from RJIL in activating the POIs.

Comparison with other operators: Airtel has indulged in a completely arbitrary comparison of POIs allocated to other operators as against those allocated to RJIL. Traffic from no two operators will be alike and operators must not try to control the traffic from their customers. RJIL has passed on the benefits of a more efficient technology to its customers in the form of free voice services. Airtel did not invest in new technologies and is now trying to prevent customers from enjoying benefits of superior service offered by a new operator, while misleading customers and causing reputational damage to RJIL by claiming that there are technical issues in RJIL network. India’s telecom sector has tended to progress due to disruptive innovation brought in by newcomers, but unfortunately, Airtel is trying to block such initiatives.

Compliance with tariff regulations: Airtel’s insinuation that RJIL has not complied with TRAI’s tariff orders is bizarre and defamatory considering that TRAI has already responded to its complaints by stating categorically that RJIL’s tariffs are compliant with the tariff orders of TRAI and other applicable regulations.

IUC regime: Airtel’s statement that IUC regime assumes symmetric traffic is funny to say the least. If the traffic is symmetric, the earnings and payments towards IUC cancel out each other and there need not be any IUC charges. This is what has happened in most of the other markets. Further, Airtel’s cry for higher IUC stems from the inability to retain customers by providing telecom services at cheaper cost. Seemingly, Airtel wants other operators to subsidize its operations.

Airtel is once again trying to portray that it has done a favour by providing POIs to RJIL, whereas it may be noted that all operators have a mandatory and unconditional obligation under the license to provide adequate POIs to all the other operators. This is irrespective of the traffic pattern and is not a favour to any operator.

About the Author