Reliance Jio Upset Over TRAI's IUC Review, Says Will Harm Users


Reliance Jio is officially worried and upset with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) over its IUC review, says 'neither warranted nor sustainable'

Written By Tech Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:

Reliance Jio is upset with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) over its IUC review. Mukesh Ambani-led telco says the decision will harm users, punish efficient telcos and reward defaulters. Jio also says the regulator's consultation paper is neither warranted nor sustainable.

"This retrograde step" in the form of the present Consultation Paper "is neither warranted nor sustainable", Jio said.

Jio alleged that any deferment of sunset clause for inter-operator termination charges will end up rewarding "designed defaulters" who have deliberately stayed away from new and efficient technologies. Jio has written to TRAI saying the present Consultation Paper "subsidises and incentivises the telecom service providers who, by design and astute planning, do not want to shift to IP based technology". 

'Neither warranted nor sustainable'

Jio has also questioned TRAI's jurisdiction and reasons to tinker with the original schedule for implementation of the zero termination charge regime from January 1, 2020. Launching a scathing attack on the TRAI, Jio said nothing prevented incumbent operators from switching their networks to efficient VoLTE all this while.

"Unfortunately, this consultation process is an inducement and acts as an incentive to such calculated and planned asymmetry, and  it  has become apparent and evident that securing termination charges has become an unfettered source  of  income  (and  not  a  means for cost recovery) for these operators," Jio said in its letter dated October 10.

Jio said charging a termination cost would perhaps be justified by two purposes, cost recovery and addressing the inevitable prevalence of asymmetry in traffic, and noted that since neither of these purposes exists any deferment of the regime will inflict immense harm to the subscriber base and causes enormous damage to the TSPs who have deployed efficient technologies.

"The data recorded by TRAI in the Consultation Paper reveals that the default on part of these telecom operators is not only a designed default, but also intended to maximize collection of unfettered revenues through termination charges," Jio said. 

Notably, Jio said TRAI's consultation paper does not address the termination charges payable after the deadline if the date for its implementation is indeed deferred. 

"It appears that the process initiated by the present Consultation Paper would simply defer the date of the implementation of the BAK regime and the terminating charge would remain at the 6 p/min, which would be wholly irrational," it said.

Whether the termination charge from January 1, 2020, should be 6 paise or less has not been factored in the consultation process. Jio said the issue should be included to the current deliberations, should TRAI still consider the need to pursue the consultation process.

(With PTI inputs)

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