The recent increase in call drop rates and diminishing quality of services has instigated TRAI for immediate action. The incumbent service providers and Reliance Jio had mutually agreed upon providing each other with interconnection ports, but the service has been below par, despite that. The time period provided for starting the inter-connection was 90 days. However, according to TRAI, there can be no excuse for low quality. No agreement between the operators can be held above the regulations.
The TRAI service rules state that not more than 0.5 percent should face network issues because of congestion. After its launch on September 5, Reliance Jio had complained against the incumbent operators for failing to provide sufficient interconnection ports.
Before the big release, Reliance India Ltd. Chairman, Mukesh Ambani claimed that Jio suffered five crores failed calls in the week before because of lack of interconnection ports. Without interconnection calls to other networks can not be made.
COAI had announced last week that all the incumbent players would meet and negotiate upon a reasonable capacity of interconnection port that each of them will provide to Reliance Jio.
According to the regulations, the TRAI has the authority to impose a fine of Rs. 1 lakh per instance of violation. In extreme cases, it can also suspend the license of the operators.
COAI vs TRAI
COAI has also had a rift with the TRAI in this matter. The former has often accused the latter of favoring Jio, the new entrant.
The disputes sparked off since much before the commercial launch of Jio’s services. Reliance had done a test launch for select subscribers and employees. However, the other operators usually represented by the COAI had accused the Mukesh Ambani company of doing a full-fledged launch under the pretense of a test-launch. The 4G services provided by Jio have been massively cheaper than the industry standards in the country. They have also driven down the industry pricing in the country.
Jio uses VoLTE (data) for calling, that makes it easier to give unlimited free calling, whereas the other operators who do not use VoLTE also have been forced to reduce their prices. The frantic switch of users from other networks to Reliance Jio in large numbers has left the incumbents hanging. Usually known for cheap call rates, India now also has cheap mobile internet, thanks to Jio.