Top telecom operators have accused the Reliance Jio Infocomm of allegedly bypassing Department of Telecommunication’s (DoT) regulations by offering full-fledged services under the guise of test connections.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) of which all top four leading telecos -- Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Reliance -- are members but is dominated by the first three, has written a letter to Telecom Secretary JS Deepak requesting him to immediately direct Mukesh Ambani-owned company to snap all connections provided to 1.5 million (15 lakh) users.
The COAI, in its written complaint, said that such trial services is in gross violation of rules and is choking their points of interconnect (PoI), thus causing bad services to their paid users.
It further alleged that if such practises of RJio are not contained, the COAI members would no longer provide it PoIs, which are essential to connect subscribers of two different networks to complete a call.
Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is yet to commercially launch its services, had launched trial services in December last year and its users are consuming 25-30 times more data than the average, because the services are free. The company is offering free connections and services to its employees as well as to general subscribers on invitation. Since the services have not been launched commercially, no tariff is being filed with the TRAI.
From last one month, telecos are slashing their 4G and 3G data prices to compete with RJio. RJio is currently offering 3 months of unlimited data on its LYF smartphones. It is further expected to offer 1GB of 4G data for as low as Rs 80. Apart from its LYF smartphones, it has tied up with Samsung, Apple and HTC in offering 3 months of free data on their new phones.
On the other hand, RJio has rejected the claims that it was violating any license conditions in seeking an increase in the PoI from incumbent telcos. The company also said that the COAI was trying to ‘sabotage the entry of’ the mobile phone operator and ‘malign its name’.