Airtel, Vodafone-Idea To Pay 3,050 Crore Penalty Over Jio’s Complaint
The apex decision-making body in the telecom ministry, the Digital Communications Commission (DCC), has reportedly has asked telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to back their stand on allegations of cartelisation made by Reliance Jio Infocomm on Vodafone Idea and Airtel for not providing points of interconnection (PoIs). The issue dates back to October 2016, when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended imposing total penalty of Rs 3,050 crore on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular for allegedly denying inter-connectivity to newcomer Jio. The penalty on Airtel and Vodafone worked out about Rs 1,050 crore each. In the case of Idea, it comes to about Rs 950 crore for violating rules on service quality. However, Merged Vodafone Idea, would have to pay a penalty of Rs 2,000 crore but they separately moved the Delhi High Court soon after TRAI’s decision. Both Airtel and Vodafone Idea have raised Rs 25,000 crore each from their respective offers. This issue had divided the industry with the older telcos on one side and Jio and TRAI on the other. Trai’s recommendation came after a complaint by Jio that over 75 per cent of calls on its network were failing as incumbents were not releasing sufficient number of PoIs.