As expected, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries called on rivals like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea to compete fairly with the company and provide voice interconnection points.
Ambani said Jio customers have suffered 5 cr call failures in the last one week due to the lack of interconnection points.
Interconnection points are the ‘joints’ between telecom networks through which data is passed along when a subscriber from one network calls another on a different network.
Ambani said blocking of interconnection by rival operators is creating a bad image about Jio in the minds of customers.
“This gives our customers the impression that voice is not working,” he said.
“I want to assure that we have the highest quality voice service and once the incumbents give us interconnect, you will experience voice like never before,” he said.
Under India’s telecom laws, no operator can refuse to interconnect with another operator. However, big incumbent operators have said that since Jio is not a commercial operator yet — and is only doing trials — they are required to give only limited interconnection points for the trials to proceed.
They also accused Jio of trying to do full commercial launch in the guise of holding a trial.
Ambani said competition is good, and leads to innovation, but must be done in a fair manner. He called on his rivals to compete in the market place.
“While doing so, we will inspire each other to rise even greater heights in our quest to serve customers,” he said, adding that the existing operators should not take undue advantage of their market position to thwart the entry of newcomers.
“Incumbents have significant advantages over new entrants.. the onus is on the incumbent operators not to misuse their market access by creating hurdles in providing interconnect points,” he added.
It is expected that interconnect problems will be resolved by next week as Jio will move from trial operations to full launch on Sept 5. The next battle, however, could be on MNP.