Sector regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Thursday said that new entrant Reliance Jio Infocom will be offering its free voice and data offer till December 3, 2016.
“The revised offer of free services by RJIL has been limited to 90 days, up to December 3, 2016, and therefore is consistent with the guidelines on promotional offers,” Trai said in a letter to the heads of India’s largest telcos Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, besides the chiefs of Videocon Telecommunications and Telenor India.
Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio on September 5 commercially launched its telecom services and announced the free offer, which it termed as the ‘welcome offer, till Dec ember 31.
Incumbent telcos such as market leader Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, Telenor India and Videocon Telecom on September 20 asked the regulator to intervene, saying as per rules, a promotional offer could only run for 90 days, which would end much earlier than December 31 for Jio since it started on September 5.
Trai, however, rejected incumbent telcos’ complaints that Jio’s free offer violated the Telecom Tariff Order of 2004, since it was being offered at below the interconnect usage charge (IUC) of 14 paise a minute.
“The tariff plans offered by RJIL and various submissions thereafter have been examined and it is found that the tariff plans filed with Trai can’t be considered as IUC non-complaint, predatory and discriminatory at present, ” Trai said in its letter to operators.
Trai, however, added that it would continue to keep a close watch on the tariffs being offered in the market by all players including RJIL.
“There is a continuous consultation process. We have communicated our view on predatory pricing to telecom operators,” Trai chairman RS Sharma told ETTelecom.
Sharma, however, refused to make any direct comment on RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani’s recent comment in which Ambani termed ongoing interconnection issue with incumbent players as a ‘ragging.’
“We are examining the issue closely and a view can’t be formed when the consultation process is on,” Sharma added.
Jio blamed rivals such as Sunil Mittal-driven Airtel, UK-based Vodafone India and Aditya Birla group’s Idea Cellular for not providing adequate points of interconnection (PoI) required for a voice call to terminate at their networks.
Source : telecom economictimes indiatimes