Posted On October 22, 2016 By In Business And 411 Views

Telecom Regulator For Over Rs 3,000 Crore Penalty On Airtel, Vodafone, Idea

In the big dispute between telecom companies, the regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), has given its verdict and imposed a stiff penalty of Rs 50 crore per circle for the existing telecom companies. In all, the combine fine amount will work out to be the upwards of Rs 3,000 crore as the TRAI noted the existing players denied points of interconnect or POIs – the gateway that facilitates calls of one network to connect with another seamlessly – deliberately in order “to stifle competition”. In the past two months, Reliance Jio had complained to TRAI as well as to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Telecom Ministry that the existing telecom companies were not cooperating with it. Reliance Industries had suggested that 52 crore calls on the Jio network failed daily as other networks didn’t provide it adequate number of POIs for voice calls. The biggest bone of contention between existing players like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea is that Jio is offering “free voice calls to its customers for a lifetime”. This, the incumbent operators argued, was a form of predatory pricing. The TRAI, however, didn’t agree with this argument and ruled in Reliance Jio’s favor. The existing players have so far not commented but industry experts, who didn’t wish to be named, said there is a high probably that existing players will approach the courts against the TRAI ruling.

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