Jio reports 52 crore call drops due to lack of points of interconnect with incumbent operators

Jio has been pushing for more interconnect points with incumbent operators, over concerns of call drops and violations of TRAI regulations.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) has welcomed Airtel's move to provide more points of interconnect (POI) to the Jio network. Jio has been pushing for more interconnect points with incumbent operators, over concerns of call drops and violations of TRAI regulations. TRAI quality of service regulation mandates that POI congestion should not affect more than one in two hundred calls.

Over a period of just 10 days, 22 crore calls have been dropped to the Airtel network alone, a total of 52 crore calls have dropped on the networks of incumbent operators, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. The situation has deteriorated so much that over 75 out of 100 calls placed in the last few weeks have been dropped. RJIL has raised the issue that a lack of interconnect is hindering the entry of the new operator, and is an anti-competitive measure.

The Vodafone India Spokesperson has issued a statement on the issue. “We have always offered great value to our customers, backed by excellent customer service, a nationwide presence, and Vodafone SuperNet – our best network ever. We will continue to do so for our hundreds of million customers across the country.”

Idea Cellular has also issued a statement over providing additional POI. "Idea Cellular, a leading Indian telecom service provider welcomes Jio, and remains committed to facilitate its seamless entry into the hyper-competitive market. Idea Cellular has in the past been providing and augmenting Points of Interconnect (POIs) very liberally and we will continue to support all new operators for all their reasonable, fair and legitimate requirements of POIs."

In the month of August 2016 there were a total of 2.97 million unique Jio subscribers who terminated calls on the Idea network. Our current allocation of POIs would in normal circumstances cater to 4.65 million such subscribers indicating a buffer of 57% in calling capacity. Idea has now decided to proactively, expand capacity with Jio to over 6.5 million subscribers, with the release of 196 additional POIs, shortly. This additional capacity will provide for a buffer of 119% against the August subscriber volumes.

Airtel made a statement to the media that it is providing additional POI to Jio.  “Airtel has been providing POIs to Jio, well ahead of the commencement of its commercial operations. With the latest augmentation, the total number of POIs will become three times the present number of POIs. Based on the current traffic pattern with all other operators, this capacity is sufficient to serve over 15 million customers, which is significantly higher than Jio’s existing customer base.”

Airtel has also raised concerns over the assymetry in the volume of traffic between the two networks. Airtel wants to make sure that the quality of service for Airtel subscribers is not affected. Idea cellular has also raised the issue of asymmetry. "Never, ever, has such a high asymmetry been observed with a new operator in the past, " Idea said in a media statement. Idea has approached TRAI over intervention in the problem.

RJIL explains that these concerns unsubstantiated, as it is natural that there is assymetry in call volume when a new operator enters the market. As the new consumers have new phone numbers, there are bound to be more outgoing calls than incoming calls in the beginning. The traffic is destined to become symmetric with growth of subscribers. Additionally, RJIL clarifies that PIO works both ways, and benefits the consumer at the end of the day. Assymetry in traffic between networks has nothing to do with the number of PIO required.

Disclaimer: Reliance Jio is owned by Reliance Industries, who also own Network18, the publisher of Firstpost and Tech2.

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