Bharti Airtel, India’s top telecom market player said in a statement on Thursday that it has provided an additional 7,000 points of Interconnect to new entrant Reliance Jio following the estimations received. The statement added that it has provided Jio a total of 17,000 Interconnect points till date, which can serve 75 million customers.
“We have upgraded the infrastructure to cater the needs of Reliance Jio much before its commercial launch. As per the TRAI regulations, we have a time period of 90 days to prepare for other network’s obligation, but, we have given Reliance Jio the necessary points of interconnect in just 9 weeks of its launch”, the statement from Airtel said.
“There’s no scope for any illegal practice in the telecom sector. We have been providing Jio with the required technical assistance since its launch on September 5th, 2016. We continue to do so in the future. Based on the inputs received from Reliance Jio, we have provided a total of 17,000 interconnect points. This is 2.5 times more than what has been provided to an existing operator with a comparable customer base”, it added.
On October 21st, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) slapped the top three Indian telecoms Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea with heavy penalties for not following the terms of the license agreement. The TRAI also alleged the telecom companies of not allowing Reliance Jio to compete in a friendly business environment.
However, Airtel blamed the Reliance Jio’s network issues for calls not being transferred to other networks. Speaking to the media Airtel’s CEO, Sunil Mittal said, “We always work in a business friendly environment. Jio must look into its network faults rather than complaining on other network providers. When you give everything for free, you will experience unsymmetrical traffic and you have to prepare for that”.
“This type of offerings will only hamper the network quality and degrade the quality of service on other networks too. I request the TRAI to look into the issue of free services as soon as possible”, he added.
As the problem of call drops and call failures still exists on the Jio network, reports emerged that the Ambani-led operator may extend the free services under ‘Jio Welcome offer’ until March 2017.