COAI rejects Jio’s request for additional point of interconnect

Reliance Jio Digital Life
Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) has rejected Reliance Jio Infocomm’s request for additional point of interconnect from its member companies, saying the optimal link has already been provided.

COAI represents GSM telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

“The members of COAI would like to clarify that they have already provided Reliance Jio with enough interconnect capacity to meet the usual demand of 15 to 20 million customers,” said COAI Director General Rajan S. Mathews in a statement issued on Wednesday.

COAI says Reliance Jio Infocomm presently has approximately 2 to 3 million customers using their network. Hence, we are unable to substantiate Reliance Jio’s claim for additional capacity.

COAI also conveyed the fact to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) following a letter from Reliance Jio, which is building a nationwide 4G network for rural and urban India.

Earlier, in a letter to the watchdog, the Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Jio Infocomm requested for directives to the existing service providers (telcos) to immediately provide interconnection to its Jio 4G network with their own, in the spirit of the licensing agreements.

It also asked the TRAI to take appropriate action against those companies that delay such a provisioning of points of interconnect to Jio in gross violation of the licensing agreements and applicable regulations.

Quoting from licensing accords, Reliance Jio said in its letter to TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma that telecom operators must extend requisite points of interconnect, of sufficient capacity and in sufficient numbers to ensure that calls are completed to all destinations.

The company said the current number of interconnect points being provided to Reliance Jio are far from adequate as the failure rate is in excess of 65 percent, resulting in more than 1.6 crore call failures per day between Reliance Jio and the networks of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

On August 12, chief executives of top mobile companies, under the umbrella of the COAI, called on Communications Minister Manoj Sinha to express concerns over alleged favouritism towards new players in the sector.

The meeting came a day after a rather unprecedented move, wherein the association even wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office complaining about the industry watchdog and contending that some of its moves discriminated against existing players.

A similar missive was also flagged to the Department of Telecom (DoT), which also specifically alleged that Reliance Jio has launched a full commercial service in the garb of test runs, while expressing concern over some consultation papers floated by the watchdog recently.

Reliance Jio had countered the claim, saying its tests are bona fide and were aimed at delivering high-quality service.