Amid the ongoing tussle between Reliance Jio and incumbent operators, Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal has called on TRAI chairman R S Sharma for a meeting. Reliance Jio had lashed out at telcos for not providing enough points of interconnect citing that 10 crore calls from its network to Airtel fail per day. Sunil Mittal had a 20-minute meeting with R S Sharma wherein he discussed the issue of points of interconnect and also shared his comments on the upcoming spectrum auction. Also Read - Best Vodafone-idea (Vi) prepaid plans under Rs 100: List of plans, unlimited data, voice calls, moreAlso Read - Airtel Rs 79 plan vs JioPhone Rs 75 prepaid plan compared: Which offers better value?
PIOs (points of interconnect) have already been issued and more points of interconnect are being provided… 2,100 POIs have already been given and a demand note for another 1,000 POIs went out yesterday. So, the process is going on, Mittal said. He claimed that the POIs that are being given or have already been given are sufficient to service 25-32 million customers. Mittal, however, declined to comment on the details of the meeting with Sharma. Asked if he raised the issue of alleged predatory pricing by the new entrant, he replied, I did not raise it. On escalation of war of words in the telecom sector, the Bharti chief felt that it has been de-escalated as everyone is talking to everyone . More meetings are going on. As far as Mukesh Ambani and I are concerned, we meet very regularly, he added.
Playing down the charges by Reliance Jio that incumbent operators were refusing mobile number portability, Mittal said, The portability issue pertains to 60-70 cases. I don’t know what is causing the delay or the reason, 60-70 applications pertaining to portability will be resolved. Responding to another query on competitive pressure from Reliance Jio’s offer of free voice calls, Mittal said his teams will respond appropriately.
With less than 10 days to go before the mega spectrum auction kicks off, Mittal termed 700MHz band as very expensive , but declined to divulge whether it will bid for the band. Asked by when he expects the inter-connect issue to be sorted out, he said, Give it a few days… there are testing processes, demand notes are sent, payments are made… things are going on. Elaborating, Mittal said, The POIs are being opened very fast… We have to also see the quality for our own costumers. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio lashes out at telcos for failing to provide points of interconnect