Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel in interconnect points spat

Reliance Jio, or RJio, alleged Bharti Airtel is abusing its market dominance and blamed it for the failure of more than 20 million calls everyday between the two networks


Bharti Airtel termed Reliance Jio’s allegations as rhetorical statements. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Bharti Airtel termed Reliance Jio’s allegations as rhetorical statements. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Mumbai: Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd on Sunday accused Bharti Airtel Ltd of providing fewer than necessary interconnect points to complete calls between the two networks, a charge that was strongly refuted by India’s largest mobile phone service provider.

Reliance Jio (RJio) alleged Bharti Airtel is abusing its market dominance and blamed it for the failure of more than 20 million calls everyday between the two networks.

“Urgent steps are required to be taken in the interest of customers of both operators. Based on the current traffic flow between the two networks, the proposed augmentation by Airtel will still only suffice for less than one-fourth of the required interconnection capacity,” RJio said.

“It is apparent that Airtel continues to abuse its market dominance by imposing onerous conditions which will imminently hinder RJIL’s ability to efficiently utilize the additional E1s (digital transmission links). It appears that the QoS (quality of service) will continue to suffer and Indian customers will be denied the benefits of superior and free voice services as a result of such anti-competitive behaviour,” Reliance Jio said.

Bharti Airtel termed Reliance Jio’s allegations as rhetorical statements.

Bharti Airtel said it agreed to release additional point of interconnections (PoIs) to Reliance Jio following bilateral talks on 13 September.

“With the latest augmentation, the total number of PoIs provided will become three times the present number of PoIs. This capacity will be sufficient to serve over 15 million customers, which is much more than their present subscriber base and their demand for 10 million projected customers. Airtel has ensured there are no capacity constraints from its end. In fact, Airtel has been providing PoIs to Jio, well ahead of the commencement of its commercial operations,” Airtel said in a statement.

In yet another statement issued later, Reliance Jio said, “The statements from Airtel are misleading and unfortunate in the context of the severe quality of service issues being faced by the Indian customers.”

“Jio being the aggrieved party, as everyone is well aware, is doing its best to work with all the other operators to resolve this issue at the earliest. There is no question of any delay, not even of a few hours, in taking any steps at Jio’s end,” Reliance Jio added.

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