Reliance Jio asks Vodafone, Idea to release more interconnection ports

New Delhi: Newcomer Reliance Jio has again asked its rivals Vodafone and Idea Cellular to release interconnection ports while alleging that poor quality of service on its network is due to incumbent players’ “unlawful and illegal delay” in providing more connections. Referring to the regulator Trai’s directions issued to telecom operators on October 7 for resolving the service quality issue, the Mukesh Ambani-led firm in separate letters to Vodafone and Idea said, “In deference to Trai’s directions, RJIL therefore demands immediate release of the shortfall in E1s.” The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has given a deadline of October 17, 2016 to mobile operators to resolve the matter so that customers do not experience poor quality of service.

Trai has observed high level of congestion in telecom networks leading to call failure on Reliance Jio’s network. Jio has been alleging that Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are denying it required number of interconnection points.

However, the incumbents have said that they have provided sufficient points of interconnection (PoIs) to meet requirement of Jio as per industry average. In the letter dated October 12, marked to Telecom Secretary and Trai Chairman, Jio alleged average call drop experienced by its customer as on October 8 was as high as 87 per cent on Vodafone and 67 per cent on Idea network for NLD service. The company has sought interconnection facility for supporting 100 million mobile subscribers by March 2017. As per the list sent by Jio, Vodafone has to allocate 7614 and 1844 more PoIs for access and national long distance services while Idea needs to provide 6060 and 1230 additional PoIs for access and national long distance services respectively.

Jio said that it provided schedule of estimated subscriber growth on its network since June 21 along with required number of PoIs. “As you are aware, you never adhered to the schedule for providing E1s (interconnection ports) under one pretext or the other and this continues as at date. The details of shortfalls in E1s are due and yet to be provided for up to 100 million subscribers,” Jio said. Jio has projected that subscriber base on its network is estimated to reach 50 million by September 2016, 75 million by end of 2016 and 100 million by March 2017.

“Please be informed that any non-compliance with QoS (quality of service) requirements on the traffic originating from RJIL’s network is solely owing to your unlawful and illegal delay/ denial to adequately augment the PoIs,” the letter said. It further said Vodafone and Idea that “any continued delay/denial in providing the requisite E1″ would be breach of their licence and QoS rule and they will be held “responsible for all consequences thereof.” No immediate comments could be received from Vodafone and Idea Cellular.