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    TRAI meets telcos over interconnect issue

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    The Indian telecom regulator on Friday met service providers – Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular – to discuss the issue of mobile network interconnection among various players, but allegedly barred Cellular Operators’ Association of India’s (COAI) officials from participating in the meeting.

    After the meeting with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Reliance Jio Infocomm Board Member Mahendra Nahata told reporters: “This is fight of justice for the Indian customer. This is not about Jio customer, Idea customer, Voda customer or Airtel customer.”

    “We have not asked anyone to leave the meeting. We just said that the meeting should be attended by those who have been invited by the TRAI,” he added.

    “COAI has been kept out of the TRAI meeting at the insistence of Reliance Jio, and TRAI acquiesced to their demand in an unprecedented manner,” said Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, COAI.

    Earlier Jio had said the points of interconnection provided by other operators were not sufficient.

    “Based on industry practice, 12,500 E1 ports (interconnect points, with technical parameters) are required for 22 million subscribers, which details have been provided to the COAI member operators,” said a Reliance Industries statement on Aug 18.

    “As against this, the top 3 operators have released only 1,400 ports so far,” the company said. A rough calculation suggests Jio, as per the above, would need a little over 8,500 ports given a subscriber base of 15 million — thus, a shortfall of over six times.

    “As you can see, it is grossly incorrect to suggest that sufficient number of ports have been given to support 15 million users. This is reflected in the experience in the field where over 65 per cent of calls to networks of the top 3 operators are failing today,” said the Jio statement.

    Reliance Jio had officially launched its services on Sep 5.

     

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