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DoT to meet Airtel, Vodafone, Idea over penalty charged for denying PoIs to RJIL

December 05, 2017

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will meet officials from Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone India to hear their pleas against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendation of a cumulative penalty of Rs 30.50 billion for denying sufficient points of interconnection (PoI) to Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL).

The three operators had been asked to make their presentations by December 6, 2017 as to why the penalty is not valid. While Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel have requested an extension Vodafone India has not responded.

In October, 2016, TRAI had recommended to the government that a penalty of Rs 10.50 billion each be imposed on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India, and Rs 9.50 billion on Idea Cellular for the purpose outlined above. In February 2017, the Telecom Commission sought clarifications from TRAI about the basis for calculating the penalty and provisions of the law under which the penalty had been recommended.

Responding to this, TRAI stated that the licence agreement mandated that the licensee will be responsible for maintaining quality of service as mandated by the licenser or TRAI, and any violation is liable to be treated as breach of terms and conditions of the licence.

Bharti Airtel had stated that RJIL’s claims of inadequate interconnection capacity were meant to cover up for technical issues in its own network, as well as its inability to activate the points of interconnection provided.


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