In the last 10 days, 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, Reliance Jio has claimed in a statement. This means that over 75 dropped out of every 100 call attempts.
These alarming rates of call drops on Jio’s network is a result of Point of Interconnection (POI) congestion, the Mukesh Ambani-owned telco argues, while adding that its customers are “denied” the “superior voice technology” that it has developed. It claims to have requested Airtel and other incumbents regularly to release more POIs to provide adequate interconnectivity. However, “no action was taken for the last several week, resulting in non-compliance of TRAI regulation on quality of service which mandates that POI congestion should not affect more than 1 call in ever 200 calls made,” according to the company.
Incumbents pledged to release more POIs
Note that this week Idea pledged to add an additional 196 POIs “shortly” 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 Jio’s network. Idea added that there was an unprecedented asymmetry of traffic of 14.5 times between Jio and their network. “Never, ever, has such a high asymmetry been observed with a new operator in the past,” the statement added.
Similarly, Airtel said that it will be providing additional points of interconnect to handle calls from Reliance Jio. With this, Airtel will be able to serve 15 million customers but did not give out a specific number of POIs. It however said that it would be increasing POIs three times of its current numbers.
Jio cries foul and rubbishes claims of asymmetric traffic
To incumbent’s claim of asymmetric traffic, Jio argues that its outgoing traffic is less than 2 calls per customers per hour even during peak traffic period, “which requires only a reasonable number of POIs”. Jio further says that even though a new entrant might be sending more number of outgoing calls, overtime as the customer base grows, the asymmetry will reduce and turn symmetric later. Note that last month Reliance announced that all voice calls originating from Jio’s network would be free.
“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 (Jio),” Reliance Jio said.
Asymmetry of traffic “has absolutely nothing to do with the number of POIs required”, Jio claimed in the statement, since the end traffic is bi-directional and not just in one direction. Equipment required for POIs are two-way trunks and can be used for bi-directionally; therefore, no additional equipment is needed to handle both incoming and outgoing traffic, the company added.