16/09/2016 9:01 AM IST | Updated 16/09/2016 9:06 AM IST

After Airtel And Idea, Vodafone Agrees To Provide More Interconnectivity Points To Jio

Reliance Jio welcomes the decision by Vodafone, demands more interconnection points.

Andrea Comas / Reuters

NEW DELHI-- Telecom operator Vodafone India has decided to increase interconnection capacity with Reliance Jio's network by three times but the new player said the number of ports promised to be released is substantially lower than what it actually needs.

"Following guidance from Trai and clarifications from Jio regarding its commercial launch, Vodafone India has decided to increase the points of interconnect (POIs) between the two operators by thrice and accordingly, increase the capacity to connect," Vodafone India said in a statement.

Vodafone is the third incumbent operator, after Idea Cellular and Airtel, that has agreed to increase inter-connection points for Reliance Jio, after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India intervened in the matter.

RJIL, however, countered the claim and said, "The quantum of POIs (Point of Interconnection) proposed to be released by Vodafone as per its press release is substantially less than the requirement estimated based on transparent workings shared with Vodafone."

The Mukesh Ambani-led firm said that it has been writing regularly to Vodafone regarding its requirement for interconnection capacity over the last few months highlighting the urgency of the requirement and the impact on quality of service parameters.

"The situation has deteriorated significantly in the last few weeks, with over 80 calls failing out of every 100 call attempts. In the last 10 days alone, over 15 crore RJIL calls have failed on the Vodafone network," RJIL said

It said that no action was taken by Vodafone in the last several weeks, resulting in non-compliance of Trai regulation on quality of service which mandates that POI congestion should not affect more than 1 call in every 200 calls made.

"Vodafone India has always provided points of interconnect (PoIs) to other operators for all their fair, reasonable and legitimate requirements and will continue to do so," Vodafone said.

"Vodafone is hopeful that all issues it has raised with Trai and Jio will be duly considered and resolved at the earliest."

Interconnection is required to enable mobile users to make calls to customers of other telecom networks. A mobile operator levies interconnection usage charge for each incoming call it gets from a subscriber of another network.

Incumbent carriers have been demanding higher inter-connection charges compared with 14 paise they get for each incoming mobile call on their networks.

RJIL, which commercially launched its services on September 5, has accused the existing players of not releasing sufficient inter-connection ports which it feels is leading to call drops.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has indicated that it will take strong action against telecom operators found responsible for poor quality of service.

RJIL has alleged that over 22 crore calls have failed on the Airtel network while 52 crore have failed cumulatively on the networks of the three incumbent operators -- Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea in about last 10 days.