Faced with 10 crore call failures a day by its customers, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has hit out at incumbent telecom operators and said that operators like Airtel have not made new interconnections operational in last 15 days despite repeated reminders.
Against a requirement of 4,000 to 5,000 points of interconnect (POI) per operator, the interconnections released are less than 2,000 by Airtel, about 1,500 by Vodafone and close to 1,600 by Idea, Reliance Jio said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Despite repeated reminders and bilateral meetings with incumbent operators and claims made by them, hardly any new interconnection capacity has been made operational by any of the three incumbent operators, viz. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India or Idea Cellular for Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) in the last 15 days," it said.
It said its immediate requirement of operational interconnection capacity based on transparent industry practice is of the order of 4,000 - 5,000 E1s per operator for the three incumbent operators.
"It is therefore apparent that at the current rate, the incumbent operators have not demonstrated any real intent to resolve this issue," the company said. "With over 10 crore call failures per day between RJIL and the three incumbent operators, this has resulted in severe quality of service issues for the Indian customers."
The call failure rate, it said, has been worsening rapidly in the last few days, while augmentation of interconnection capacity is still awaited.
"The continued denial of requisite PoI's (points of interconnection) is in clear violation of the license conditions and TRAI regulations on quality of service by the incumbent operators."
"The deliberate move to not provide sufficient interconnection capacity ... is clearly aimed at hindering RJIL's entry into the sector and is depriving Indian customers from enjoying superior HD voice services being offered by RJIL," the statement said.
Stating that there have been press releases and media statements by some of the incumbent operators about positive intent to augment interconnection capacity in the last few days, it said this has not been followed with action.
"Considering the current working E1s, including the proposed augmentation by the incumbent operators, would still be far lesser than what is required to meet QoS parameters, more concrete action is warranted from the incumbent operators," the company said.
RJIL hoped that the incumbent operators would enhance the PoI's sufficiently to meet their license obligation of quality of service (QoS) with immediate effect and maintain these parameters on an ongoing basis.
In an interview on Monday, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal played down the ‘noise’ over the PoIs and mobile number portability (MNP) issues with Jio.
“These will be sorted out over the next few weeks,” he said in an interview with the Economic Times, adding that the “issues should be sorted through dialogue between the parties”.
Mittal further noted that Airtel has never faced any complaint on the PoIs from any of the several new operators that had entered India in the past and added that his company “is and will be releasing PoIs to Jio as required”.
TRAI chairman R S Sharma on Monday warned of swift action for call failures on Reliance Jio network, asserting that breach of quality of services to consumers is taken “very seriously”.
In his first reaction on the ongoing tussle, Sharma said that the quality of service and consumer protection are the key mandates of TRAI and the regulator will ensure that poor services are addressed at the earliest.
He added that TRAI has asked the existing operators to submit the data on call details and failures from September 15-19, detailing how many calls were attempted and how many of them failed on a daily basis. Jio claims the number to have exceeded 52 crore calls since it formally began services on September 5.
“We will analyse this and take appropriate action. It should take just a couple of days (to complete the inquiry and take action),” Times of India quoted Sharma as saying.