13 September 2017
| Natalie Bannerman
Reliance Jio claims that Bharti Airtel misrepresented facts submitted to TRAI, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, saying that it has suffered loss in profits due to call connection charges.
According to Gadgets 360, Jio has
said that Airtel is attempting to hide its profits from the
regulator and its claims that it lost nearly 680 million rupees
($10.6 million) over the last five years in call connection
charges are "grossly incorrect and fallacious".
The costs in question are placed by the operators that levy
an interconnect usage charge on subscribers when receiving
incoming calls from other networks.
RS Sharm, chairman of Reliance Jio, said in a letter to
TRAI: "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
Approximately 14 paise (0.2 US cents) are added to the cost
of calls made to mobile phones under the interconnect usage
charge. Many of the large incumbents have said that this figure
should be between 30-40 paise, but the smaller independent
operators think this figure should come down to zero.
In Jio’s letter it said that Airtel reached its
figure by calculating mobile call connection charges as 30
paise a minute, a method that has never been confirmed or
accepted by TRAI.
With the company adding: "It is obvious that this
misrepresentation of facts and wrong interpretation of data has
been carried out purposefully to create a smoke-screen to hide
its ill-gotten profits and to support its false pretence of
loss under the existing IUC regime. Airtel has purposefully
endeavoured to confuse the issue by adjusting this excess
recovery against its IUC pay-out of around [2,475 million
rupees ($38.6 million)], which Airtel has already recovered as
part of tariff from its subscribers... (and) cannot be again
adjusted against total IUC receipt made by Airtel. Clearly,
this subterfuge is created to reduce the impact of true excess