Mukesh Ambani meets DoT secretary, updates on Reliance Jio roll-out plans

Mukesh Ambani is learnt to have discussed Reliance Jio’s position on the standoff relating to points of interconnect with the existing cellular networks


A file photo of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
A file photo of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

New Delhi: Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani on Friday met telecom secretary J.S. Deepak to discuss roll-out plans of his telecom venture Reliance Jio, which has accused incumbent players of not releasing sufficient interconnection ports during its test run of services.

According to sources, during the meeting with the telecom secretary, Ambani provided a full update of roll-out plans of Reliance Jio’s 4G services, which in trial phase alone has garnered 1.5 million users.

The RIL chairman, who was accompanied by his son Akash Ambani at the meeting, is also learnt to have discussed the company’s position on the standoff relating to points of interconnect with the existing cellular networks.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Reliance Jio have locked horns over interconnect issues, with the cellular association dubbing the latter’s testing of network as an effort to bypass regulations and the Mukesh Ambani firm hitting back saying the charge is a bid to block its full roll-out.

Reliance Jio has also written a letter to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), calling for action against dominant players, including Airtel, for denying it inter-connection in “breach” of the licence agreement.

Earlier this week, COAI said its members have provided Reliance Jio Infocomm sufficient capacity to support 10 times more customer base it currently claims, and attributed congestion in the network to free calls and data service the company is currently offering.

The industry body also countered Reliance Jio claims of having 1.5 million customers in the trial phase and, citing reports, alleged that the new entrant has activated 2-3 million subscribers.

Reliance Jio hit back accusing existing operators of not releasing sufficient number of interconnection ports for the ongoing test run of its 4G services.

Reliance Jio has submitted to Trai that it will need 12,727 network interconnection for mobile services and 3,068 points for STD call facility before commercial launch of its services.

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