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TRAI fine Telcos 3,500 crore for denying inter-connectivity to Jio

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Bhubaneswar: India’s telecom monitor TRAI penalized a combined amount of Rs. 3,500 crore on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular for denying interconnection to Reliance Jio Infocomm recommending the Department of Telecommunications to take stringent actions against the three companies.

Terming their actions Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as unwarrantable the regulator authority criticized the companies of having broken license policies and has accused them of being anti-cosumer.

Sources said, TRAI has sent three letters to the DoT on Friday informing that a gross amount of Rs. 1,050 crore fine be levied on total of 21 circles for both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone making a calculated Rs. 50 crore for each circle while it slapped a penalty of Rs. 950 crores on Idea with a total of 19 circles.

Meanwhile, the telecom regulator has issued show-cause notices to all the three companies asking them to keep their views why actions should not be taken against them for violation of service policies.

It is worthwhile to mention that a stifling competition following the launch of the ambitious Jio revolution by Reliance Infocomm has crippled the interconnections from Reliance Jio’s network to different service providers.

Due to inadequate Point of Interface (PoI)s from other providers call failures and call drops are abrupt and has been incessant, Reliance said.

But such an accusation has been shrugged off by other telcos who argue that the issue would take time for appropriate operationalization of capacities. Since the PoI augmentation is going on the outcomes would definitely need at least a time period of 90 days. Besides, traffic assessment of PoI congestion is measured over a period of one month while TRAI had assessed and issued notices quite prematurely without waiting for the total time period, they argued.

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