Airtel Also Agrees To Support Jio's Incoming Call Traffic But Will Monitor Impact On Its Own Calls

RJjio claims its outgoing traffic is less than two calls per customer an hour even during peak traffic period

14/09/2016 8:50 AM IST | Updated 14/09/2016 10:10 AM IST
Adnan Abidi / Reuters

After Idea, Bharti Airtel, has also agreed to provide additional interconnect points, which allow mobile users to make calls to customers of other telecom networks, to Reliance Jio, saying these ports will be sufficient to support 15 million customers of the new operator.

With the latest addition, the total number of interconnect points will be three times its present number, Airtel said in a statement, adding it was a "responsible organisation" committed to complying with the regulators.

However, Airtel, India's largest telecom operator by subscribers, also warned about the problem of "massive asymmetry" in the large volume of traffic between the two networks, and said the network will monitor the situation to ensure the quality of its service doesn't suffer as a result of the large incoming traffic. It has also urged telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to investigate the issue of "asymmetric traffic" urgently.

Reliance Jio -- which commercially launched its services on September 5 -- has accused incumbent players of not releasing sufficient inter-connection ports and had sought legal action against them.

Airtel's move comes a day after Idea Cellular said it will provide additional interconnection points to Jio after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) intervened to resolve the matter.

Mobile operators typically levy inter-connection usage charge for each incoming call they get from another network. Incumbent telecom operators have been demanding higher interconnection charges compared to 14 paise they get for each incoming mobile call on their network.

RJio Challenges

While welcoming Airtel's move, Reliance Jio said in a statement the issue of asymmetric voice traffic raised by Airtel was an "unsubstantiated apprehension" and the voice traffic on its network is in line with industry trends and expected for any new operator.

"In the early days of operations of any new operator, there are more outgoing calls than incoming calls. Overtime, as the customer base grows, this asymmetry reduces and the traffic becomes symmetric," it said in the statement.

It added that Jio's outgoing traffic is less than two calls per customer an hour even during peak traffic period, which requires only a reasonable number of POIs (point of interface).

"These calls are not to one operator but distributed over all the operators. Incumbent operators are describing such a modest call rate as a Tsunami of traffic from RJIL," it said.

It alleged the situation of call failures has deteriorated significantly in the last few weeks, with over 75 calls failing out of every 100 call attempts.

"In last 10 days alone, over 22 crore calls have failed on the Airtel network, while 52 crore calls have failed cumulatively on the networks of the three incumbent operators viz. Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular."

With PTI inputs

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