Airtel to TRAI: Jio offer will choke networks

NEW DELHI: Upset with Reliance Jio’s free voice calls offer and possible repercussions of losing customer base, market leader Airtel asked Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to look into the “asymmetry” with Jio free voice calls terminating on its network which could deteriorate the experience of consumers on its network.

Bharti Airtel also said that it has provided a total of 17,000 points of interconnection (PoI), which were sufficient to support as much as 75 million Jio’s subscribers.

Airtel blames Jio’s welcome offer, promising freebies, as a probable reason for causing the disproportionate voice traffic to its network.

Bharti Airtel’s chief executive Gopal Vittal said that the telco has provided the adequate number of interconnection points but there have also been issues at Jio’s end in terms of readiness.

“Our regulatory obligations permit us to provide interconnect in a period of 90 days. This will help identify any network related issues, which Jio may have in their network,” Airtel said in a statement.

After Jio’s launch on September 5, there has been a bitter spat between the two telecom giants over points of interconnection which the Reliance Jio allege causing call failures for its newly-acquired subscribers.

On June 21, Reliance Jio had asked existing players to provide support to interconnect an estimated 50 million of its customers by September, 75 million by December and 100 million subscribers by March 2017.

Reliance Jio sought regulatory intervention that led Trai to penalize India’s top carrier Rs 1,050 crores for violating Quality of Service (QoS) norms.

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