Indian newcomer Reliance Jio’s row with the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) escalated after the operator accused rival operators of trying to undermine its long-awaited entry into the market.
Economic Times reports Reliance Jio sent letters to the government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), stating incumbent telcos were deliberately not providing it with adequate access points or points of interconnection to terminate calls and data, which is forcing a delay to its commercial launch.
It has now asked the government and trade body COAI, which represents its interests, as well as the country’s top operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, to ensure they comply with licensing agreements and augment points of interconnection with the newcomer.
Reliance Jio’s complaints come after COAI wrote its own letter to the country’s telecom department earlier this week accusing the company of offering a full blown mobile service disguised as a trial.
Reliance Jio has attracted 1.5 million users to free voice and data services in a test phase.
COAI further alleged that the volume of voice traffic generated by the company’s free service was choking already augmented points of interconnection, and was affecting service quality of the other operators.
Reliance Jio hit back, arguing that the test trials being conducted “are well within the scope of the terms and conditions of the unified licence”.
The issue has erupted ahead of Reliance Jio’s long anticipated launch in the country, expected this month, which promises to significantly disrupt the status quo in the Indian market.
A COAI delegation, including Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal and Vodafone India CEO Sunil Sood will reportedly meet with telecom secretary JS Deepak tomorrow to discuss Reliance Jio’s operations.