Airtel to Trai: Ensure networks not abused by free traffic

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Hitting out at Reliance Jio on interconnect issue, Bharti Airtel today asked telecom regulator Trai to find a way to curb the "massive asymmetric traffic" and ensure that receiving networks are not "abused by tsunami of free traffic".

Airtel to Trai: Ensure networks not abused by free traffic

"We urge the Trai to find a way to curb the massive asymmetric traffic to ensure that receiving networks are not abused by tsunami of free traffic.

In this regard, Interconnection Usage Charges is an effective tool in the hands of Trai, which we hope they will use judiciously," Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

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The company said that it was "grateful" to Trai for enabling a constructive dialogue today on the matter of providing PoIs to Reliance Jio.

Airtel to Trai: Ensure networks not abused by free traffic

"We would request the Trai to also engage on the subject of a fair IUC regime and ensure that the practice of pricing is in compliance with the 30th Amendment of the Telecom Tariff Order dated January 16, 2004, which envisages tariffs to be IUC compliant, non-predatory and non-discriminatory," it said in an apparent dig at Jio's freebies.

Asserting that "as a responsible company" it has always provided interconnectivity to other operators, Airtel said it is "fully compliant with all regulatory guidelines and licence conditions".

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Bharti Airtel alongwith other incumbent operators like Vodafone and Idea Cellular have been engaged in a massive fight with the new entrant Reliance Jio over providing additional points of connectivity between networks.

The two sides today met TRAI to discuss the interconnect issue, which has become the flashpoint for one of the fiercest corporate battles in the sector. "None of the new operators who launched services in the last few years, has faced any PoI related issues with Airtel," it pointed out.

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Noting that the traffic will inevitably get to a more balanced level and PoIs will be less of an issue once the commercial charging of services by Reliance Jio starts by Jan 1, 2017, Airtel said, "in the interim, we continue with our efforts to augment the hundreds of PoIs already given to Reliance Jio, as per the bilateral agreement, so that customers are not inconvenienced".


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