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Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio responds to the charges of incumbent Cellular Operators led by Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel
Manoj Gairola |  |  10 Aug 2016

The war of words between incumbent operators led by Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has finally begun. Within 48 hours of the cellular operators association of India (COAI) issuing press release accusing the regulator of favoring a new Operator, Reliance Jio today said that COAI was indulging in ‘unwarranted vilification campaign’.

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio, on Wednesday, released a letter written to the telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) saying that the COAI's campaign appears to be an exercise to promote the vested interests of the incumbent dominant players.

The letter says that the "Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has deliberately indulged in an unwarranted vilification campaign, not only against RJIL but also against TRAI, through various media reports, without any basis whatsoever."

The company has alleged that incumbents are using their dominant position to stifle new operators. Reliance Jio has also said that it could not launch commercial services until the incumbent operators allow interconnection.

It claimed that the points of interconnection (PoI) provided by the Operators were not sufficient, which is in violation of clause 6.2 of the Unified License, which mandates all operators to provide interconnection. Jio is targeting 100 million subscribers within one year.

It has said that lower interconnect rates benefit the consumers and higher rates only benefit incumbents.

The company in the letter shared details of the scale and reach of its telecom project, which would for the first time in India offer LTE voice and data, video and messaging  to cover a vast geography without any fallback on legacy circuit switched technology. Jio in its letter has also explained that it has kept both the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and TRAI informed about its trial. LTE technology throughputs are highly dependent on signal to noise ratio, the company said, and that the company's extensive testing is to estimate optimal network parameters for best results. The extensive testing is being done for the benefit of subscribers, the letter added.

Jio has kept the regulator informed about the on-boarding of subscribers on a monthly basis and the on-boarding has been done after following all due processes. The trial is also within the scope of the terms of the Unified License. Since the company is responsible for quality of service, it needs to sufficiently load the network and internally test the same.

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10 Aug 2016(IST)  
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