Trai has ordered Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Jio, BSNL and MTNL to submit call details to examine the traffic pattern on their networks, a move which may help the regulator analyse allegations by RIL group firm against incumbents on interconnection issue.
“Trai has asked telecom operators to submit traffic details for purpose of examining them under interconnection usage paper. Airtel, Vodafone, Jio and public sector firms did not submit even after reminder. Therefore, Trai issued order for them. They have to submit data by September 16,” an official source told PTI.
Trai had on August 5 issued a discussion paper to review IUC norms following a complaint by Cellular Operators Association of India against BSNL service that allowed its subscribers to make calls on mobile and landline through a mobile app. COAI alleged that the offer was in violation of licensing norms as well as interconnect pacts.
The data will also help Trai to analyse the more recent allegations by Reliance Jio against incumbent telecom operators – Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular – that they were not providing proper interconnection for its service.
Interconnection is required to enable mobile users to make calls to customers of other telecom networks. A mobile operator levies inter-connection usage charge (IUC) for each incoming call it gets from subscriber of another network.
The BSNL service could not be made operational as the regulator asked to hold the launch till the matter is resolved.
Separately, Reliance Jio, which commercially launched its services on September 5, has accused the incumbent players of not releasing sufficient inter-connection ports which is leading to call drops.
Incumbents have alleged that free calling service being offered by Jio is leading to huge incoming traffic on their network due to which they have to incur huge cost and services of their customers may be adversely impacted.
Airtel last week had asked regulator Trai to find a way to curb the “massive asymmetric traffic” and ensure that receiving networks are not “abused by tsunami of free traffic” from Reliance Jio.
Jio has rejected the allegation saying that outgoing traffic is less than 2 calls per customer per hour even during peak traffic and these calls are not to one operator but distributed over all the operators.
Jio has alleged that 75 per cent of calls made from its network, with most of them on incumbents network, are failing due to insufficient interconnection ports provided by service providers.