Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has hit out at GSM industry body COAI for writing to Telecom Minister on policy issues without consulting all its members and allegedly leaking them to media.
Taking strong exception to Cellular Operators Association of India’s (COAI) August 3 letter to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad demanding that private service operators should be allowed to enter into a spectrum sharing and trading pact with state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and not just a “single” telco, Reliance Jio Infocomm said it was never consulted before writing such a letter. “This draft was not circulated to us before issue and we are not aware whether this was circulated to all executive committee (EC) members for their review and inputs,”Reliance Jio, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries, wrote to COAI on Wednesday.
Reliance Jio is a member of COAI, which represents interests of top telecos including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, and Idea Cellular. Stating that it was lodging “strong protest” for COAI having issued the letter without circulation to the EC members, Reliance Jio asked the lobby body’s Director General Rajan S Mathews to ensure this doesn’t happen in future. “We bring to your notice that your act of writing this letter without circulation and its leakage has resulted in adverse media coverage for Reliance Jio… We have taken up this issue with your kind self in person; however, are not satisfied with the explanation related to this matter. The least that we expect from COAI is to issue a press release clarifying the matter,” it wrote.
Reliance Jio spokesperson has already clarified that the company was not in talks with BSNL for “exclusive intra-circle roaming (ICR)” and that there are no exclusive or non-exclusive pact with BSNL for spectrum sharing. Mathews in the letter had said that government should allow a level-playing field by giving a fair opportunity to private operators. “The exercise should be conducted in a fair, open and transparent manner so as BSNL could be benefited from a competitive commercial offering allowing public resources equally to all service providers,” Mathews had written.