As telecom operators spar, watchdog calls meet on Friday

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New Delhi, Sep 27: Amidst the incumbents and Reliance Jio Infocomm trading accusation and counter-accusation over sufficient interconnections not being provided, the watchdog, stressing that consumers are of paramount interest, said it will hold a meeting with all the players on Friday.

"I have asked my department to fix the meeting either on Friday. A few companies have written letter to us that Reliance Jio is violating some particular order. They have sought a meeting over that," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S.Sharma said here on Tuesday.

Telecom: Watchdog calls meet on Friday

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by industry chamber Ficci.

Sharma said that the telecom companies which are failing to provide adequate point of interconnections to the new player that is resulting in call failure, will be issued show cause notice.

"It's a competitive market. Our (watchdog) job is to promote healthy competition. It is an interesting market. You have competition through collaboration. You cannot compete unless at some point of time you interconnect. The competition cannot be created in silos. This is an interesting thing and we need to take care of these issues in a manner that the whole thing grows," he added.

Talking about the ongoing spat between Reliance Jio and incumbents, Sharma said business interest clash may happen but consumers should not get affected.

"I see this as consumer are being affected. To me, consumers of company A are same as consumers of company B. I don't distinguish them. They have equal rights. So, if a consumer has purchased a SIM of company A and then he finds that he can't do anything with it, why should he suffer? His (consumer) interest should be paramount."

Sharma added, "And that is my approach in dealing with this issue. The consumers must not suffer. The entire industry is existing because of consumers. Telecom players have built a world-class infrastructure. India is really proud of this telecom sector in the country. If we can do world-class network, why can't we do world-class service?" he added.

Earlier, Jio said that interconnection points provided by other operators were not sufficient.

"Based on industry practice, 12,500 E1 ports (interconnect points, with technical parameters) are required for 22 million subscribers," said a Reliance Industries statement on August 18.

"As against this, the top three operators have released only 1,400 ports so far," the company said.

A rough calculation suggests that Jio, as per the above-mentioned figures, would need a little over 8,500 ports, given a subscriber base of 15 million.

Reliance Jio officially launched its services on September 5.

IANS

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