Telcos passing off wirelines as mobile numbers to evade charges: Jio

War-of-Words

After incumbent telcos such as Bharti and Vodafone issued their points of view and even seemingly trolled Reliance Jio for the latter's move to charge 6 paise per minute as Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) amounting to 6 paise per minute, Jio has now hit back with a series of tweets.

In addition, Samsung and Jio are also showcasing new use cases for the existing 4G infrastructure which can technically be used for what could become India's Emergency Communication Network or "OneNet".

In a letter to TRAI, it alleged the three firms have allotted mobile numbers as customer care or helpline numbers to companies such as Oyo, Justdial and Videocon D2H.

The brokerage, however, expects the Mukesh Ambani-led telco to see maximum decline in volume of outgoing off-net voice minutes, following its decision to recover IUC for outgoing voice calls to non-Jio mobile numbers. Airtel and Vodafone-Idea had commented on the charges on some calls made by Jio on social media.

Reliance Jio users are definitely not happy about paying for outgoing calls.

In other tweet, Reliance Jio said "6 paise/minute".

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It said this situation changes the nature and character of a call from "mobile to wireline network" to "mobile to mobile network". Jio alleged that the practice has resulted in huge losses to its network - running into hundreds of crores of rupees - but also caused losses to the exchequer. For instance, if a Jio user makes a call to an Airtel subscriber, Reliance has to pay Airtel IUC charge of 6 paise a minute and vice versa.

"This seems like an attempt by Jio to misguide the Trai in the run up to the consultation on IUC".

Jio, which is a net payer of IUC, has opposed any move to defer the zero-IUC regime, and has criticised Trai, calling its IUC review process a retrograde step that would harm mobile users and punish efficient operators.

"Enterprise customers referred to by Jio transfer their call to their unique number to a fixed line or another mobile number as this is permitted by the DoT".

Disclosure: Reliance Industries, the promoter of Reliance Jio, also controls Network18, the parent company of CNBCTV18.com.

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