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TRAI effects ceasefire in Telcos’ civil war

The warring parties — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular on one side and Jio on the other — appeared conciliatory after the meeting called to resolve the bitter battle over granting points of interconnections (PoIs) to Jio
Telecom Towers : For representational purposes only

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has effected a ceasefire in the the Telco’s civil war. It told all of them in a meeting on Friday to resolve the contentious interconnect matter among themselves. However, it warned that it would intervene if the quality of service drops and consumers suffer.

The warring parties — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular on one side and Jio on the other — appeared conciliatory after the meeting called to resolve the bitter battle over granting points of interconnections (PoIs) to Jio. Jio is said to have sought PoIs for 22 million plus users .

Its opponents have been refusing to grant additional PoIs citing traffic imbalance. However, in the meeting they sounded conciliatory PoIs are used to connect calls from one telecom operator to another. Jio says incumbent telcos haven’t provided enough PoIs resulting in its users facing huge call drop issues, while its rivals say enough have already been provided.

“We have asked for the right number of PoIs. We have put forth our point of view to Trai. It is for Trai to look into the matter. There is no time frame indicated by the Trai,” Jio board member Mahendra Nahata said after the meeting. “It is a fight for justice for Indian customers, and not those of Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone or Idea,” he added.

In a statement, market leader Bharti Airtel said it would provide Jio with more PoIs, as per the bilateral agreement signed between the two operators, so that customers aren’t affected. Incumbent telcos had signed agreements for interconnections with Jio in 2014.

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