TRAI meets with Airtel, Vodafone, Idea on Reliance Jio interconnection tangle

traiCracking down on incumbent operators’ efforts to block Reliance Jio subscribers from calling their customers, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has asked big GSM companies such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone to provide connectivity to the new operator, according to sources.

Meanwhile, certain other industry sources said no final decision was arrived at today and the meeting was inconclusive. No official statement has been issued by any of the parties about today’s meeting.

The telecom regulator had called for a meeting of all the operators in the morning after repeated complaints from Reliance Jio that the big three operators were refusing to provide it with interconnect points despite being legally required to do so.

Stock prices of Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular have fallen today, while those of Reliance Industries is trending up. RIL shares were up 1.3%, while those of Bharti Airtel were down 1%.

As we explained in our earlier story, all telecom operators in India are mandated by law not to block calls to their subscribers from customers of other operators.

The incumbents have been refusing to give more interconnection points to Reliance Jio saying that allowing Jio customers to make as many calls as they want will hit their profit levels.

Unlike big firms like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, Reliance Jio gives voice calling facility free of charge to anyone who takes their data packs.

This has got the traditional companies worried, as they get 70-80% of their profits from voice calling.

Soon after the Mukesh Ambani firm announced that it would offer free calls to all its customers, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India — controlled by the incumbents — announced that its members will not give interconnection points.

It said doing so will bring down the average money that they generate from each call to 22-25 paise. At present, the big operators make around 32-34 paise per minute — based on an average of incoming and outgoing charges.

Typically, an incoming call generates only a revenue of 14 paise per minute, while an outgoing call generates about 55-60 paise per minute for these operators.

They are worried that allowing Jio subscribers to make a lot of calls will result in their own subscribers buying Jio connections, and then using these connections to make their voice calls.

However, the TRAI is understood to have read the law to the incumbent operators and told them to create more interconnection points.

Mukesh Ambani has, meanwhile, said that more interconnection points must be provided when the capacity utilization of existing points reach 70% — something he said happened some time back.

At present, Jio subscribers calling those on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular networks are greeted with the message ‘all lines in this route are busy’.



Idea Cellular – Vodafone merger announcement soon? Idea Spectrum HoldingIdea Cellular has put off the trimonthly meeting of its board of directors scheduled to take place tomorrow, raising speculation that it may soon announce a merger or deal with Vodafone India.The meeting was supposed to take on-board results  of the telecom operators' working the three months from October to December.After t...
Reliance Jio now allowing unlimited night downloads under Happy New Year plan Reliance Jio is now allowing its users to download an unlimited quantum of data at night under its Happy New Year offer.This is different from the earlier practice of allowing users to consume only 4GB of data per 24 hours.With this new feature, subscribers can download or consume 30 GB or 40 GB or even more data between 2 am and 5 am without aff...
How to overcome Reliance Jio’s 1GB limit by timing your downloads According to our tests, it is possible to download more than 1 GB using a single Reliance Jio connection using the Happy New Year offer.According to our tests, there is no limit on the number of GBs that can be downloaded under the Happy New Year offer between 2 AM and 5 AM.In our tests, we have been able to download over 40 GB in one night, without ...
Vodafone halves 4G data prices: 4 GB at 255 | 22 GB for 999 Vodafone has halved data prices, six months after cutting them by about 40%.Under the new 4G tariff announced today, customers will get 4 GB of data for Rs 250 and 22 GB for Rs 999.These are roughly half of the prevailing data rates in the market.The current data price in the market is 2 GB for Rs 250 and 10 GB for Rs 999.Vodafone is also off...
1GB LIMIT: Reliance Jio starts restoring full speed at end of day Reliance Jio, India's largest provider of wireless data, has modified its bandwidth limitation policy to restore full speed for the subscriber under its Happy New Year offer the next day.So far, a 4G subscriber who crossed the daily FUP limit of 4GB or 1GB had to wait for exactly 24 hours for Jio to lift the speed limits.Under the new policy, he ...
Airtel doubles 3G speed in Delhi with more spectrum Bharti Airtel, India's top telecom provider, introduced its second 3G carrier in Delhi, more than doubling the speed of the existing network for most smartphones.Not only has the company introduced a second 'carrier' (block of spectrum) adjacent to the first one, it has also implemented the technology to merge the two blocks into one, thus boosting downl...
Idea Cellular increases free data in unlimited scheme by 4 times Idea Cellular today increased the free data allocation on its existing unlimited calling packs.Compared to 1 GB of 4G data that customers were getting with the Rs 348 pack, they will now get 4 GB.Similarly, the free data allocation for those who do not have 4G handsets has been increased from 50 MB to 3 GB per month -- an increase of 60 times. ...
Bharti Airtel to launch pan-India Payments Bank tomorrow Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecom company, will take a crucial step towards entering the financial services business as it launches its Payments Bank operation across India tomorrow.Payments Bank refers to a limited operations bank that can be primarily used for making transactions, and not for depositing money.The operator has already start...
SUPERHOUR: The SECRET behind Vodafone’s Rs 16 offer It is no secret that India's second biggest telecom operator by revenue -- Vodafone -- is under threat from a rapidly growing No 3 -- Idea Cellular -- and an aggressive newcomer -- Reliance Jio.Though Idea is still behind the British firm when it comes to total revenue, Idea has already overtaken Vodafone as far as the data business is concerned, acc...
Vodafone 4G reaches UP West; Goa, Chennai, Punjab next Vodafone has launched its 4G network in UP West and Uttarakhand offering "4 times" as much data for a 1GB pack.Among the first wave of cities are Dehradun, Haridwar, Aligarh, Nainital and nine other prominent business, tourism and educational hubs."4G services will soon be available across several other major towns across the circle by March 2017...
Supreme Court to consider banning charge-sheeted candidates from polls The Supreme Court has today agreed to hear a petition that seeks to ban anyone who has been charge-sheeted in a criminal case from contesting elections in India.BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who is among one of the most prolific filers of public interest litigation in India, is among those who had filed such petitions seeking disqualification of such ...
Bharti Airtel offers 3GB of 4G data free per month for one year, with conditions Bharti Airtel, which has come up with various 'free data' schemes of late, has kicked off one more such scheme -- offering 3 GB of free data per month for those availing certain handpicked recharge and billing schemes.For prepaid users, the free data is available if they recharge Rs 345 per month. The Rs 345 recharge also gives free unlimited voice calls...
TRAI wants FREE DATA for everyone, without ‘gatekeeping’ by telcos India's telecom regulator has suggested that every rural citizen should be given 100 MB or so per month on a free basis to help the spread of digital revolution in the country. It has also suggested allowing 'third party aggregators' like Facebook to offer free data, but only if they can keep telecom companies totally out of such efforts.Both suggestions...
Bharti Airtel completes pan-India 4G with Assam; offers 10 GB for Rs 249 Bharti Airtel launche its 4G services in Assam, starting with Dibrugarh and Tinsukia. "With this, customers in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia can now enjoy high speed mobile broadband on Airtel 4G and get on to the digital superhighway to enjoy uninterrupted HD video streaming, superfast uploading and downloading of movies, music and images," the company said. ...
Fitch downgrades Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications over Aircel merger Fitch Ratings has downgraded India-based Reliance Communications Limited's long-term rating to 'B+' from 'BB-'."It is our view that Rcom's plans to demerge its wireless business into a 50:50 joint-venture and sell 51% of its tower business, Reliance Infratel Ltd (Infratel), will be negative for Rcom's creditors, even if receipts from the tower transactio...