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TRAI issues telecom interconnection regulations 2018; mandates a 30-day deadline for signing contracts

January 02, 2018

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has mandated service providers to enter into interconnection agreement on non-discriminatory basis within 30 days of receiving network connectivity request from another operator. The regulator has issued the telecom interconnection regulations 2018 that lists out rules for signing network connectivity agreements, provisioning of such connectivity amongst operators at initial stages, augmentation of points of interconnect (PoI), applicable rates or charges, disconnection of ports, and financial disincentive on interconnection issues.The rules will come into effect from February 1, 2018.

Further, the regulations will apply to all the service providers offering telecom services in India. TRAI has also outlined a framework for provisioning and augmenting of interconnectivity ports, laying down a step-by-step process for provisioning of such ports. Moreover, the rules issued follow a detailed consultation process by TRAI that started in October 2016 and included open house discussions and written comments by stakeholders.

The latest norms assume significance, as interconnectivity was a key point of debate between Reliance JioInfocomm Limited (RJIL) and incumbent operators BhartiAirtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, at the time when the newcomer launched its services in 2016. The new entrant had accused established operators of not providing it sufficient PoIs leading to massive call failures on its network, while the incumbents blamed free calls offered by RJIL for heavy load on their network traffic.


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