Sectoral regulator TRAI will send its clarification “this month” to the Telecom Ministry on Rs. 3,050 crores penalty it had sought from Vodafone, Airtel and Idea for denying call connectivity to newcomer Reliance Jio.
“No, we have not written to them (Department of Telecom) yet. But we will be writing soon… We will be responding certainly this month. It will happen very quickly,” TRAI Chairman RS Sharma told PTI.
On April 5, The Telecom Department wrote to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) asking it to provide a “reconsidered opinion” on the penalty issue, and also outline the basis & provisions of law under which the mentioned amount had been recommended by the regulator.
Sources familiar with the matter said that DoT, in its communication, has also asked the TRAI to share the information regarding the number of subscribers acquired by Reliance Jio during its testing phase (that is prior to its commercial launch).
Last year, the incumbent operators and the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio clashed over the issue of call connectivity.
Jio cried foul that its users were suffering from call failures as the operators were not giving it sufficient interconnect capacity. The operators, in turn, charged the newcomer Jio of unleashing a “tsunami” of free traffic on their networks. Also, Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone were alleged to have denied sufficient PoIs to Jio.
Interconnection enables the mobile users to make calls to the customers of other telecom networks and as a result, is crucial for smooth functioning of mobile services.
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Himani Sharma, From ITvoir News Desk