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Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel continue accusing each other over interconnection

sumo-fight

Reliance Jio has once again accused rival Bharti Airtel for not releasing substantiated number of Points Of Interconnection (PoIs) and additionally blocking Mobile Number Portability (MNP) requests coming from Airtel users. In a fresh statement, Jio says that “the quantum of POIs proposed to be released by Airtel is substantially less than the requirement estimated based on transparent workings shared with Airtel”.

Airtel had earlier pledged to release an undisclosed number of PoIs, which it claimed could serve an additional 15 million new customers. The additions were apparently three times of its current numbers.  However Jio claims that Airtel’s augmentation of PoIs would “only suffice for less than one-fourth of the required interconnection capacity.” Jio claims that more than 2 crore calls are failing on a daily basis between the Airtel and Jio networks, which is a serious violation of QoS regulation set by the telecom regulator TRAI.

‘Jio blaming us to cover up its technical issues’: Airtel

Airtel has however denied Jio’s allegations and stated that it has “been providing PoIs to Jio, well ahead of the commencement of its commercial operations.” The additional PoI augmentation agreed by both parties now needs to be tested on both ends, while Airtel says that it has been waiting for Jio to commence the testing.

Airtel claims that its team has already installed physical equipments, and Jio has been delaying the tests. It added that lack of PoIs isn’t the only reason why Jio is facing numerous call drops, and deficiency of VoLTE stabilization:

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“…it is Jio that seems to be dilly-dallying on the issue and not cooperating deliberately. It appears that the constant rhetoric may be a ploy by Jio to cover up some technical issues in their own network, which is causing call failures, by constantly blaming other operators,” Airtel said in a statement.

‘Airtel did not stick to prior agreements’: Jio

Airtel had deviated from the original agreement regarding releasing more PoIs after bilateral discussions were held between both, Jio alleged. The Ambani-owned telco alleged that Airtel is abusing its dominant position in the marker by “imposing onerous conditions” on earlier agreements, which hinders Jio’s service quality.

In addition, Jio accused Airtel of blocking MNP to subscribers who are looking to port-out to Jio. It however did not mention how many such requests were blocked. In a statement, Airtel claims that only 69 such MNP requests were blocked or delayed and that it has complied to all regulation while porting-in our porting-out thousands of requests on a daily basis.

A timeline of Interconnect issues

On August 11th: After alleging that recent TRAI consultations on Interconnection charges favored new entrants, COAI lashed out against  Jio’s network trails stating that the amount of traffic being generated from the Jio trials are “choking” PoIs, and “impairing” quality of service of other operators.

On September 13th: Idea pledged to add an additional 196 POIs in order to handle 1.85 million more customers from Jio where calls originate. The company said that in August 2016, there were 2.97 million Jio subscribers who ended calls on its network. Idea added that there was an unprecedented asymmetry of traffic of 14.5 times between Jio and their network.

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On the same day: Airtel said that with its upgrade, it will be able to serve 15 million customers but did not give out a specific number of POIs.

On September 15th: Jio claims that over 22 crore calls from Jio’s subscribers have failed while interconnecting with Airtel’s network, while 52 crore calls have failed in total while interconnecting with three incumbent operators combines viz. Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea.

On September 16th: Jio accused Vodafone India of being anti-competitive and said that it hasn’t provided enough points of interconnect (POIs) for voice calls on their network. It said that over 80 calls were failing out of every 100 call attempts to Vodafone.“In the last 10 days alone, over 15 crore RJIL calls have failed on the Vodafone network,” Jio said in a statement.

Image Credits: Flcikr user U.S. Army under CC BY 2.0

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