Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which represents the GSM service providers, has accused Telecom Regulatory Authority of India of favouring towards Reliance Jio.
Recently COAI complained to PMO about Reliance Jio’s free services. And reportedly it was to meet the telecom regulator, TRAI, but COAI has now claimed that it has been kept out of the meeting at the insistence of Reliance Jio.
“COAI has been kept out of the TRAI meeting at the insistence of RIL Jio, and TRAI acquiesced to their demand in an unprecedented manner,” Rajan S Mathews, DG, COAI, said in a press statement.
However, this is not the first time that COAI has accused TRAI of biasness. The GSM operator’s lobby had earlier accused the TRAI of favouring new entrants and questioned the urgency shown by the TRAI to review of interconnection charges. TRAI sometime back introduced a consultation paper seeking review of interconnection usage charges which are paid by one telecom company to another for using the latter’s network to complete calls. Naturally, all telecos are opposing any reduction in the interconnection charges as that will impact their revenue while Jio being a new entrant is arguing in favour of it as that will benefit the operator.
Reliance Jio launched its services on September 5 with a range of freebies including free voice calls, free SIMs, unlimited night time data (2-5AM) etc.
Such freebies, COAI said, is choking other operator’s networks. However, Reliance Jio’s Mukesh Ambani accused other telecos of blocking Jio users’ calls by not offering enough point of interconnections.
“Unloading tsunamis of asymmetric incoming voice traffic from a (potential) 100 million Reliance Jiocustomers can lead to the weighted average voice realisation of existing operators plunging from 30-40 paise per voice minute to 22-25 paise per voice minute or even lower,” COAI wrote in the letter PMO a couple of days back.