In the ongoing spat between Reliance Jio and other telecom operators for the Point of Interconnection, Bharti Airtel has taken a step forward to resolve the matter. Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal says that the issue was unnecessarily hyped and he has directed his team to work on it and get the issue sorted with Reliance Jio. With telecom regulator TRAI taking a stern view of ongoing problems between incumbents and new entrant Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal offered an olive branch saying all issues will be resolved within few weeks. “It (Point of Interconnect) was non existent (issue). Suddenly this has become unnecessarily a big issue. I have told my team and sent messages to Mukesh (Ambani) and his team. Let’s ignore and resolve this. Every passing day and every passing week this will get resolved. “I am not saying look out for 6 months or 1 year. Look out for few weeks and this will get settled,” he said in first comments on the spat with Reliance Jio that made a big bang entry into the sector offering free voice calls and data at rock-bottom price. Also Read - Best Airtel prepaid plans under Rs 500: High-speed data, free access to streaming services, and moreAlso Read - Reliance JioFiber plans with free Voot Select subscription: Check plans, price, and other benefits
The sticky point between Jio and incumbent operators like Airtel has been providing points of interconnect (PoIs) which help users to complete call on rival networks. Jio has accused Airtel and others of creating entry barriers by not providing enough points of interconnect, leading to a large number of call drops on its network. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India yesterday said it will take action against telecom operators if found guilty for compromising on service quality. Mittal said Jio is being provided sufficient network interconnection points since the time it started commercial service.
“You have to keep in mind 5th September was their commercial launch. 2000 PoIs have been provided and more are being provided. You can’t judge this industry in 10 days time. The problem is in the media and in the letter exchanged and all that. Temperature is unnecessarily being taken up. I think you need to lower that down. There needs to be a dialogue. People need to sit together,” he told ET Now. ALSO READ: COAI urges TRAI to extend deadline to submit comments on consultation paper for inter-connect usage charge
Incumbents have alleged that free calling service being offered by Reliance Jio is leading to huge incoming traffic on their network due to which they have to incur huge cost and services to their customers are adversely impacted. “It (Jio’s 4G service) was all India launch at one go. Its a size and scale that is very big. Its also a fact that the launch was free voice and four months of free data,” Mittal said. He said that no one must have anticipated impact of their launch. “We have a asymmetric traffic of 10 times to 1. We have to manage our own networks. We have to ensure that quality of service of my customers is not going down,” Mittal said.