Airtel vs Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio has accused Airtel of misrepresenting facts to support its false claim of loss from call connection or IUC charges. Reliance Jio said that Airtel’s representation on loss due to prevailing IUC rates is “grossly incorrect and fallacious” and such facts are submitted purposefully to create a smoke-screen and hide its ill-gotten profits.

Earlier, Bharti Airtel had accused Reliance Jio of trying to establish a monopoly and misleading TRAI over the interconnect usage charges (IUC). Airtel also claimed that it had suffered a loss of Rs. 550 crore per quarter due to low mobile call connection charges fixed by the regulator.

Jio in a letter to TRAI Chairman R S Sharma has said,

Airtel has purposefully endeavored to confuse the issue by adjusting this recovery against its IUC pay-out of around Rs 24,750 crore, which Airtel has already recovered as part of tariff from its subscribers.

Reliance Jio further wrote in the letter that Airtel made calculation by representing mobile call connection charges as 30 paise per minute using a method which TRAI has never accepted. It also requested the authority to take appropriate action against Airtel for such mischievous submissions.

We submit that all the contentions of Airtel are fallacious, not based on true facts and are misleading in nature. We request that the authority may take appropriate action against Airtel for such mischievous and frivolous submissions,” the letter further stated.

Countering Reliance Jio’s allegations, Bharti Airtel commented on the matter that Reliance Jio had added IUC on calls made within Airtel network in its estimation. “Therefore, Jio’s calculation is blatantly misleading with a false calculation to inflate the numbers. Which operator pays IUC charge on the on-net calls,” an Airtel official said.

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The war of words had started back in July when Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) invited opinion from all telecom operators regarding interconnection usage charges (IUC). Reliance Jio had proposed to make the IUC zero. Currently, IUC of 14 paise is levied on calls made from mobile phones. Incumbent operators have claimed that IUC should in the range of 30-35 paise.

To recall, IUC i.e. Interconnection Usage Charges or also known as Termination Charges are payable by one telecom operator, whose user makes a call, to another operator whose subscriber receives the call.