scorecardTelco’s spar over Jio’s free data reaches PMO
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Telco’s spar over Jio’s free data reaches PMO

Telco’s spar over Jio’s free data reaches PMO
IndiaSmallbusiness2 min read

The incessant war of words among telecom players over Reliance Jio’s free data has now reached the top office of the country. Telecom operators wrote to the Prime Minister’s office complaining that the telecom regulator was biased against incumbent players. Telecom industry had earlier said in a release that they see a “pattern of bias” emerging in TRAI’s decision.

On the same concern the telecom operators have now sought an appointment with principle secretary at PMO, Nripendra Misra. Telecom industry body COAI has said that it is “shocked that some of the (TRAI) papers seem to have crafted and timed to serve the interest of new players” hinting at a bias for Relaince Jio. In the letter sent to the PMO, Rajan Mathews, director general of COAI, said "These papers along with other TRAI decisions seem to point towards a pattern of discrimination against existing mobile operators".

The telecom regulator had recently floated consultation papers on mobile termination charges, termination of internet telephony charges and quality of services and COAI is of the view that all these papers "bode ill for investments, industry's growth, and customer services and upset the well ¬established level playing field paradigm".

It all started with Reliance Jio’s extensive trial test of it voice and data services where it allowed customers to use its services free of cost for three month. And that clearly did not go down well with the existing telecom operators which triggered the whole spat and led to the operators now reaching the power corridors. Earlier the top telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea wrote to the Telecom Secretary asking the Department to stop Reliance Jio’s test trial immediately. COAI in its letter to Telecom Secretary, JS Deepak said that Jio has already rolled out their complete services under the guise of testing. "This is no test. This is the provisioning of full-¬blown and full--fledged services masquerading as tests”. Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio promptly responded with a letter to the telecom regulator saying "steps taken by COAI in last few days by issuing press releases, alleging unfounded biases with the regulator and by writing letters against test trials are in fact attempts to sabotage the market entry of RJIL”.

Also Read: War of Words: Reliance Jio’s ‘free-data-for-three-months’ plan under attack

COAI’s letter urging quick intervention from the PMO says "We hope the TRAI will take a more balanced view on issues impacting the entire industry and ensure a level playing field" as the industry is of the view that all the recent consultation papers floated by the TRAI is biased towards new players, not naming but hinting at Reliance Jio.