New Delhi: Idea Cellular Ltd on Monday announced release of 196 interconnection points to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd but maintained that there is asymmetric traffic flow between Idea and Reliance Jio.
“Idea has now decided to proactively, expand capacity with Jio to over 6.5 million subscribers, with the release of 196 additional POIs, shortly. This additional capacity will provide for a buffer of 119% against the August subscriber volumes”, Idea said in a statement, while mentioning that the current POI allotted to Jio could support 4.65 million customers and therefore, there was a buffer of 57% in calling capacity.
Idea also stated that the ratio of asymmetric traffic between Idea and Jio was 14.5 times in August 2016 as 2.97 million Jio customers terminated their calls on Idea network. “Never, ever, has such a high asymmetry been observed with a new operator in the past. Company is incurring increasing costs due to this high level of traffic asymmetry. Unless controlled, this induced traffic asymmetry is expected to exacerbate the loss in the coming months”, Idea said in the statement requesting the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to intervene and control such traffic.
Points of interconnect enable two networks to connect with each other to facilitate calls.
The company also maintained that real cost of termination or interconnection usage charges are much higher than 14 paise per minute, as per current regulation. The telcos have been debating against the regulator’s consultation paper to reduce or eliminate interconnection usage charges citing that it will hurt their revenues. This has also led to an ugly battle between COAI (cellular operators association of India) and Trai with the former calling the regulator biased.
Interconnection usage charges are paid by one operator to another for using other’s network to complete calls.