Telecom regulator TRAI today mandated service providers to enter into interconnection agreement “on non-discriminatory basis” within 30 days of receiving network connectivity request from another operator. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India today issued the ‘Telecom Interconnection Regulations 2018’ that comprises rules for crafting network connectivity agreements, provisioning of such connectivity amongst operators at initial stages, augmentation of Points of Interconnect, applicable rates or charges, disconnection of ports, and financial disincentive on interconnection issues. Also Read - Jio Freedom Plans 2021: Jio launches 5 new prepaid plans with no daily data limit - check details
The rules will come into effect from February 1, 2018. The regulations will apply to all the service providers offering telecom services in India, TRAI said in a statement. “Through these regulations, the authority has mandated that every service provider shall, within thirty days of receipt of request from a service provider, enter into interconnection agreement on non-discriminatory basis, with such service provider,” TRAI added. Also Read - How to recharge your Jio number via WhatsApp
It has also outlined a framework for provisioning and augmenting of interconnectivity ports, laying down a step-by- step process for provisioning of such ports. The rules issued today follows a detailed consultation process by TRAI that started in October 2016 and included open house discussions and written comments by stakeholders. Also Read - 5G JioPhone launch could be around Diwali this year, price to be around Rs 3,500
The latest norms assume significance as interconnectivity was the flashpoint between Reliance Jio and incumbent telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, at the time when the newcomer launched its services in 2016. The new entrant had accused large established operators of not providing it sufficient Points of Interconnect leading to massive call failures on its network, while the incumbents blamed free calls offered by Reliance Jio for “tsunami” of network traffic.