Airtel hits back at Reliance Jio; asks TRAI to make sure receiving networks are not abused by free traffic

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Published: September 9, 2016 5:32:15 PM

After Reliance Jio's accusation of GSM operators denying interconnection to its customers at the TRAI-industry meeting, Airtel hit back at it.

Airtel's statement is an obvious reference to the 'freebies' being offered by Reliance Jio to its customers. Airtel?s statement is an obvious reference to the ?freebies? being offered by Reliance Jio to its customers.

After Reliance Jio’s accusation of GSM operators denying interconnection to its customers at the TRAI-industry meeting, Airtel hit back at it. It told TRAI, “Assure networks are not hit by free traffic tsunami”. Airtel’s statement is an obvious reference to the ‘freebies’ being offered by Reliance Jio to its customers. Stating that it has always provided points of interconnect to other operators, Airtel said that the traffic will get to a more balanced level. It even urged TRAI to ensure fair interconnect charge regime. Reliance Jio has accused existing operators of not releasing sufficient number of interconnection ports to it, leading to large number of call drops on its network and creating inconvenience to its customers.

Existing operators, however, are contending that they cannot release more interconnect ports as their networks have come under stress due to surge in traffic following free voice call offer by the Mukesh Ambani-led company. Reliance Jio Infocomm Board Member Mahendra Nahata has termed the company’s fight for interconnectivity as “fight for justice and fight for customers”. “…Not just Reliance Jio customers or Airtel or Vodafone but for all Indian customers,” Nahata said after a meeting with TRAI.

In a big-bang launch for Reliance Jio, Mukesh Ambani at the 42nd RIL AGM announced that all voice calls for Jio customers will be free. “The era of paying for voice calls is ending,” Ambani said. He also said that no roaming charges will be applicable for Jio customers across India. “Jio makes India the highest quality and lowest data price market in the world,” he said while announcing data rates. “With Reliance Jio, you will pay only Rs 50 for every GB that you use. The more data you use, the lower the rate,” he said. “I believe these are the absolute lowest data rates anywhere in the world,” Ambani added.

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