The word war in the Indian telecom sector seems to be heating up. Well, it won’t effect much for normal mobile subscribers, except for those completely on Jio’s network. As you probably won’t able to make phone calls that easily to other telecom operators.
The new entrant in the Indian telecom sector Reliance Jio has lashed out against the industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). Jio accuses COAI to be biased to the top three Indian telecom operators Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. It demands a complete overhaul of the industry body’s voting rules, regulations, and processes.
“COAI Regulations are overwhelmingly biased and lopsided and have been framed to subserve the vested interests of the three incumbent dominant operators (IDOs), namely, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea, who collectively command 68% of the total votes in the COAI’s Executive Council by virtue of their revenue and market position.” said a letter from Jio to COAI.
For the overhaul, Jio has suggested the appointment of a committee. This committee will comprise of three retired Supreme Court judges to ensure that governance code and process are in line with democratic principles of reasonableness, fairness, accountability and transparency.
COAI calls Jio a backdoor entrant
COAI fights back saying Jio’s recent allegations are misrepresentations, misinterpretations of law and facts. The industry body termed Reliance Jio as a back-door operator.
“None of the half a dozen new operators who have entered in the last five years have ever accused COAI or in fact labelled the leading operators as IDOs. Despite repeated and grave provocations from Reliance Jio, COAI wishes to state that Reliance Jio which entered the sector as a back-door operator was welcomed by COAI as a full member,” said COAI in a statement.
COAI further strength its point saying, Reliance Jio has never applied for a UASL (unified access service licence) or UL (unified licence). It bought a pan-India broadband wireless access in the year 2010 through its acquisition of Infotel. Then the company converted it to a full blown UASL license despite strong objection from certain quarters, including the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
“Despite all this skulduggery, COAI welcomed Reliance Jio into the association and congratulated the new entrant on its launch,” said COAI in a statement.
Recently Reliance Jio criticized India’s top three telecom operators. Jio claims that hardly any new point of interconnection (POIs) capacity has been made operational by any of the three incumbent operators