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This interconnection battle between Reliance Jio and other telcos…

...is getting annoying, and beyond a point, the government and the TRAI need to step in, in consumer interest. Interconnection is the regime which allows the users of one telecom operator to call those from another telecom operator. If at times you get the message that "all lines in this route are busy, please dial after some time", it is typically because there aren't sufficient interconnection points between the two operators within that circle. Do we even need interconnection? Without adequate interconnection, most users will only be able to connect with customers of their telecom operator, which means that they might be forced to keep multiple SIM cards, or gravitate towards telecom operators where there are favorable interconnection agreements. Why is this happening? - It's possible that incumbent telecom operators are either not deploying or are slowing down deployment of interconnection links in order to slow down transition of customers to a newer operator. This is not new. What is possibly unprecedented is the number of incoming calls to other networks, since Jio has made regular phone calls free. - It's also possible that the new telecom operator wants changes in the interconnection arrangements, and is using this face-off to instigate a policy change. In the future Telecom interconnections are a legacy of being on PSTN networks and numbering schemes, which require bilateral interconnection. Ideally, over IP networks, there should be no numbers, and just names or email addresses, and telecom operators should be wireless data service providers. Such models also…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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