The Digital Communications Commission (DCC) on Wednesday upheld the decision to impose a penalty of Rs 3,050 crore on Bharti Airtel Limited and Vodafone Idea Limited on refusing to contact the telecom regulator’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited. Three years ago.
DCC is a government panel comprising top officials of the Department of Telecommunications, Electronics and Information Technology, Policy Commission and Department of Economic Affairs.
This decision is a shock for Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, who are already buried under a debt pile and are facing increased deficit between the ongoing tariff war due to the entry of Reliance Jio at the end of 2016.
Telecommunication secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters, “After the detailed discussion today, it was decided that the DCC will accept TRAI’s recommendations that the penalty should be imposed and the government (Department of Telecommunication or Department of Telecommunications) should be recommended accordingly. Wednesday. In the last DCC meeting, the matter was referred to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for review, Sundararajan said that the regulator had written back speaking that it will not change its recommendations.
DCC’s recommendations will now be sent to DOT, which has been studying this issue for nearly three years as TRAI submitted its proposals for the first time in October 2016.
“DOT has the ultimate right to issue a fine,” Sundararajan said, there is a right to make any decision in this.
Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), representing the telecommunications operators, said that the penalty for this magnitude was frustrating from the time the industry is facing financial pressure. COAI Director General Rajan Mathews said, “We had said earlier that this would get more from the industry.”
Bharti Airtel said that keeping in view the forced consolidation due to financial tension in this sector, this decision will have an additional burden on the already extended balance sheet of operators, and the government’s approach will harm the digital inclusive and Strong India
“… The requested POIs (points of interconnect) was provided within the stipulated time and were more than the number of requests that were required. All these facts were submitted to the authorities. Therefore The Thus, it is disappointing that the fine While making this arbitrary decision-making decision, those facts have not been considered, a spokesperson of Airtel said, “On receipt of formal information for penalization, we will do the appropriate forum Shikon. We have complete faith in the judicial process and law of the country.
Vodafone Idea spokesman said, “We will explore all the options, including taking legal support to protect our interests.
In October 2016, TRAI had recommended to the government that a fine of Rs 1,050 crores be imposed on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India for allegedly refusing Reliance Jio to PoIs and imposing a penalty of Rs 950 crores on Idea.
In September 2016, Jio complaint to Trai that a large number of calls were failing on its network because existing operators were not providing enough interconnect port. Interconnection points are used to connect two telcos’ networks to complete a phone call.
TRAI then said that Reliance Jio had already placed its demand with three operators based on their client and traffic estimates to ensure the communication between the customers of the network. TRAI then said that adequate POI is against public interest and is anti-consumer to suppress competition in this area.