Reliance Jio has hit back against claims that its trial service is illegal by accusing its rival operators of attempting to sabotage its much-anticipated debut into the market.
Earlier this week, COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) complained to the Department of Telecom that Reliance Jio was breaking the law by providing free access to a fully functioning network under the guise of a trial, which has thus far attracted 1.5 million users.
Reliance Jio has responded with accusations of its own, claiming to the government and the regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) that incumbent operators are deliberately preventing it from reaching an adequate number of access points or points or interconnection to effectively terminate calls and data, thereby obliging it to postpone its launch further.
The newcomer has requested that the government, COAI – which safeguards its interests – and the major operators (including Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone India) all fall in line with the licensing agreements that guarantee it access to points of interconnection.
However, COAI has claimed that the free service currently being provided by Reliance Jio has overloaded points of interconnection that have already been augmented with the sheer scale of its voice traffic. This is having an adverse effect on service quality for rival operators.
Reliance Jio has refuted this claim, stating that its trials “are well within the scope of the terms and conditions of the unified licence”. The furore over Reliance Jio’s trial is yet another setback to its much delayed launch of commercial services, scheduled for this month. The highly anticipated launch is widely expected to shake up the Indian mobile market.