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    Delay in implementation of zero call connect charges to hurt service affordability: Jio

    Synopsis

    Reliance Jio Director Mahendra Nahata said that the ratio of incoming and outgoing call is now at par with each other and traffic asymmetry can, therefore, no longer be the reason to delay implementation of Bill and Keep (BAK) regime. Nahata alleged that the subscriber traffic is being diverted to 2G, 3G network to show cost of voice is high.

    Agencies
    Airtel said that IUC should not come down to zero and the BAK regime should be postponed by at least three years.
    NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio on Friday said that delaying the implementation of zero call connect charges beyond January 2020 will hurt affordability of telecom services in a sector where users have benefited from free voice calls.

    Reliance Jio Director Mahendra Nahata said that the ratio of incoming and outgoing call is now at par with each other and traffic asymmetry can, therefore, no longer be the reason to delay implementation of Bill and Keep (BAK) regime (that is zero mobile termination charge from January 1, 2020).

    Traffic symmetry indicates that telecom operator will not have any outstanding balance of interconnect usage charges (IUC) against other networks.

    Speaking at Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (Trai) open house on IUC issue, Nahata said Airtel had expanded 4G network and Vodafone Idea too is talking about expanding their 4G network.

    "We are not considering any profit or loss, but opposing it on the basis of principle. Criticising the decision of government or regulatory authorities from a distant location is beyond our understanding. Therefore, please take a decision after due diligence on all the points that we have raised," he said.

    Nahata questioned data being shown by telecom operators and alleged that the subscriber traffic is being diverted to 2G, 3G network to show cost of voice is high.

    Nahata said that in case Trai does not favour implementation of BAK regime from January 2020 then at least interconnect usage charges currently at 6 paise should be brought down.

    "When you had implemented 6 paise charge, 4G traffic was one per cent. Today that traffic is much higher so the costs must have come down," he said.

    A Vodafone Idea official said that consumers today have the option of moving to other networks through mobile number portability (MNP).

    "Today customers have option of MNP and they can move to other network. It is wrong to say that any operator is holding back customers on 2G network," the official said, demanding that the mobile call termination charges should continue.

    Airtel said that IUC should not come down to zero and the BAK regime should be postponed by at least three years.

    Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel's Chief Regulatory Officer Ravi Gandhi rejected allegations of data fudging terming them as "misplaced" and said that people at times used the company's SIM into second slot of mobile phone which generally supports 2G or 3G network.

    He said there are 40 crore consumers are on 2G network and they use low-cost feature phones. Shutting down 2G network will mean depriving such consumers of telecom services.
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    5 Comments on this Story

    Kavi Tanna342 days ago
    Indians do not value innovation at all. In America the most efficient most innovative companies win while the others perish. In India we defend the weaker players who failed to change their ways, failed to invest in new technology and looted consumers. This is why India is a beggar country.
    VENKATESH VISWANATHAN342 days ago
    Jio is trying to fool everyone by playing the poor man''s interest when their only interest is to become a monopoly and earn supernormal profits. Indian telecom is the cheapest in the world. The prime beneficiaries of Jio have not been the bottom ring users who used to pay less than Rs 100. Those users still pay at least Rs. 30. The big beneficiaries have been those who used to pay Rs. 1500 who have seen their bills going down to Rs.200 or less. So much for the poor man argument.
    Niveza Equity Research343 days ago
    Telecom major, Vodafone Idea has reported an unprecedented loss of Rs 50,921.9 crore. The stock is still surprisingly raised due to momentum sudden speculations but for the long term, it seems risky. Though the current loss is due to provisioning for adjusted gross revenue (AGR)-based dues following a recent Supreme Court ruling, the company is also facing very critical competition by Jio and thus losing the market capture at high speed. The fundamental health of the company has also deteriorated majorly. The company has raised questions on its long run sustainability hence the stock seems risky and holds ‘Reduce’ ratings for now.
    Search Google for Niveza FREE Share Market Tips today.
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