Trai suggests Rs 3,000-crore fine on Airtel, Vodafone, Idea
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended a hefty penalty of Rs. 3,050 crore on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea – for violating their licence agreement and denial of interconnection to new player Reliance Jio, a news agency has reported.
Responding to Jio’s complaints over the denial of points of interconnection (POI), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said it was evident that Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, are “in non-compliance of the terms and conditions of licence and denial of interconnection to RJIL appears to be with ulterior motive to stifle competition and is anti-consumer.”
On October 12, Jio had written to the telecom regulator alleging malpractice by the three companies. In turn, Trai after looking into the matter subsequently made the recommendation in a letter to the Department of Telecommunication, saying the companies’ actions amounted to a violation of licence norms.
Trai said the standard punishment for violating these rules is to revoke a given company’s licence, but since that would cause massive inconvenience to the public, a large penalty would be more appropriate, the Economic Times reported.
Commenting on Trai action, an Airtel spokesperson told a news agency, “We are continuously augmenting the PoIs provided to Reliance Jio and the pace of augmentation has been the fastest ever done by us. Further, we are in full compliance of the requirements of grade of service set by Trai.”