Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have rejected Reliance Jio’s view on interconnection usage charges (IUC). The two operators expressed their views in counter-comments submitted on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) consultation paper on the issue.
As per Jio, if the TRAI postpones the scrapping of IUC from the planned January 2020 deadline, it would be subsidising two economically inefficient operators at the cost of users. Further, Jio has stated that IUC would encourage keeping users on 2G and disincentivise upgrading networks to 4G.
However, Airtel and Vodafone have disagreed saying that Jio’s views disregard basic consumer choice principles, especially when there is freedom to switch operators. Further, Airtel dismissed Jio’s allegation that Airtel and Vodafone Idea are using 2G technology deliberately to receive termination charges with intent of undue enrichment. Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea has asked TRAI to ‘reject Jio’s baseless allegations’ as ‘full choice is available to a mobile customer to port from one operator to another and added that the sale of 8-10 million 2G/3G devices a month is also attributable to consumer demand and behaviour.