Airtel accuses Reliance Jio of creating a monopoly: The accusation
Bharti Airtel accuses Reliance Jio of ending competition in the telecom sector in India by building a monopoly. The companies are fighting over the internet charges & are blaming each other. Airtel said that Reliance Jio wants to change and resettle its cost to Airtel & other mandatory things using the proposal to remove inter-connect usage charge(IUC) & wants to go for bill & keep the system. Furthermore, Airtel has also stated that under a new model of IUC this company will transfer costs of Rs 15,000-20,000 crore per year to other rival companies which will kill the competition. Airtel, Vodafone has said infrastructure in rural areas depends largely on revenue generated from calls & removal of charges which act as a hindrance to the services.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in an affidavit filed by themselves before the Supreme Court in the year of 2011 said that telecom operators should give some time till 2014 so that can change the system to bill keeping. Till now, operators have been keeping a record of incoming calls on their network but don’t ask for a demand from another operator. In an open house conducted by TRAI Reliance Jio has said that IUC model must be done away with.
Reliance Jio’s defense:
Jio claims that it will give around 99 percent coverage all over India by December 2017, if mobile internet charges are dropped.
When it comes to Reliance Jio’s allegations that Airtel earns excess revenue from Mobile Termination Charge (MTC), the latter claimed them as “false & laughable”. Airtel has claimed that it has to incur a loss of 21paise per minute of a call. This has led them to incur a total loss of Rs 550crore per quarter.
Airtel says that mobile termination charge (MTC) is mainly the clearing house where one operator gives other money for using its network to carry incoming calls. Ravi Gandhi, Chief Regulatory Officer(CRO) of Bharti Airtel says that Reliance Jio is continually lowering the prices at very low levels which just destroys all the completion existing in the market.
We think consumers are benefitting from The Reliance Jio. But due to this sudden shift from mainstream companies like Airtel, Vodafone to Reliance Jio, the regulatory body TRAI should take some action. In fact, TRAI must make sure that there are some mandatory regulations for each company and not one company rises to a monopoly.
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