Reliance Jio says Vodafone’s increase in PoI inadequate

vodafoneReliance Jio Infocomm said the number of new interconnection points being put in place by Vodafone at its network junctions is “substantially less than the requirement”.

Jio was responding to the announcement yesterday that India’s No.3 telecom company will increase interconnect points with the Ambani firm, which has been facing a virtual blockade from the main players, who in turn worry about the impact of the new operator on their profits.

“RJIL has been writing regularly to Vodafone regarding its requirement for interconnection capacity over the last few months. Necessary details have been provided from time to time, highlighting the urgency of the requirement and the impact on Quality of Service parameters. However, no action was taken for the last several weeks, resulting in non-compliance of TRAI regulation on quality of service which mandates that POI congestion should not affect more than 1 call in every 200 calls made,” Jio said.

The company indicated that it is not going to take the blockade lying down. There was a clear change in the tone of the newcomer’s statement, and it referred to legal and TRAI provisions multiple times.

“The situation has deteriorated significantly in the last few weeks, with over 80calls failing out of every 100 call attempts. In the last 10 days alone, over 15 crore RJIL calls have failed on the Vodafone network.

While RJIL has rolled out a state-of-the-art network, the benefits of superior voice technology have been denied to Indian customers due to the POI congestion. Indian customers have not been able to enjoy RJIL’s free voice offer as a result of such anti-competitive behaviour of incumbent operators,” it said.

According to Indian laws, it is illegal for any operator to block calls coming from or headed to another network. However, incumbents say that allowing Jio to operate using its current low tariffs would severely hit their earnings.

RJIL has been raising the issue of insufficient POIs as anti-competitive aimed at hindering the entry of a new operator.

“Such hurdles result in poor experience for RJIL customers who are trying to make calls to incumbent operators’ networks.It is unfortunate that TRAI’s intervention was required for Vodafone to resume augmentation of POIs as admitted in its press release. Vodafone ought to have augmented POIs by itself in compliance with its license terms,” the firm said.

The telecom regulator TRAI has already intervened in the matter once and told the existing companies not to block calls from the new network.

Jio also said Vodafone and the other incumbent operators have also been blocking the mobile number portability facility for their subscribers who wish to subscribe to Jio services “on baseless and unsubstantiated grounds.”

“This is another example of disregard of license terms and their obligations under the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulations, 2009 and TRAI directions.

This is again an anti-competitive move aimed at stifling a new operator, denying the Indian customers the benefit of choice of service provider. This is against public interest and fair play,” it alleged.