TRAI’s IUC evaluate is unwarranted, anti-poor and sabotages Modi authorities’s Digital India initiative, says Reliance Jio- Expertise Information, Firstpost

Reliance Jio has mentioned the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) session paper on ‘Overview of Interconnection Utilization Fees (IUC)’ sabotages the Digital India and Ease of Dwelling initiatives of the Narendra Modi authorities.

Responding to the session paper, Reliance Jio mentioned that not implementing the brand new Invoice and Preserve (BAK) regime from his due date of 1 January, 2020 is “not solely arbitrary, dangerous in regulation, unwarranted, and anti-poor, however it additionally adversely impacts the credibility of the Authority and investor’s confidence”.

TRAI just lately moved to reopen the deadline for ending costs for terminating calls on rival networks past January 2020, which forced Reliance Jio to levy a 6 paisa per minute charge on its users, successfully ending its free call regime.

Representational Picture. Credit score: Reuters

Jio believes that TRAI’s solutions shield and perpetuate “the vested interests of certain incumbent telecom operators who do want their large body of 2G customers to forever remain digitally disempowered and deprived of the fruits of the Digital Revolution”.

(Additionally learn: TRAI’s review of IUC will harm subscribers and reward defaulters says Reliance Jio)

Stating that authorities’s Digital India initiative guarantees the provision of digital infrastructure as a utility to each individual, Jio mentioned this core promise was being allowed to be violated by denying 476 million prospects of rival operators the “fundamental piece of this mission, which is the Internet”. The identical prospects are being pressured to bear for hefty prices for voice calls whereas 4G prospects get pleasure from free voice providers.

The 37-page response quoted the aims of the Digital India initiative to level out how the session “undermines, frustrates and sabotages” it: “The vision of Digital India programme is to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.” Declaring “Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen”, it lists the next as its key aims –

a)    Availability of excessive pace web as a core utility for supply of providers to residents

b)    Cradle to grave digital id that’s distinctive, lifelong, on-line and authenticable to each citizen

c)     Cell phone & checking account enabling citizen participation in digital & monetary house

The Session Paper aids and abets sabotage of the mission as a result of it protects and perpetuates the vested pursuits of sure incumbent telecom operators who do need their massive physique of 2G prospects to perpetually stay digitally disempowered and disadvantaged of the fruits of the Digital Revolution.”


(Additionally learn: Presence of interconnect charges give telcos little incentive to upgrade their networks and improve customer service)

It’s unlucky that as a substitute of profiting the poor and marginalised sections of Indian society, the session paper has chosen to assist profiteers within the telecom enterprise, Jio alleged. The dialogue paper, it identified, desires India to stay technologically stagnant and backward and mentioned it will perpetuate the exploitation of 2G prospects on different networks in 4 methods:

a) by charging them excessive and extortionist charges for voice calls – which Jio affords free to all its 4G-only prospects;

b) by conserving the doorways shut for his or her entry into empowered, enriched and dignified members of Digital Society;

c) by denying them the chance to learn from the Hon. Prime Minister’s “ease of living” initiatives; and

d) by perpetually excluding 400 million 2G customers from the probabilities and guarantees of the fourth industrial revolution.”

Jio additionally mentioned that the transfer contradicts the authority’s previous selections the place it was represented that the zero termination cost regime would come into impact for all sorts of calls from January 1, 2020. “…the present Consultation Paper has not been issued to address traffic asymmetry, but to address the claimed financial stress of one or two operators at the cost of the interests of the subscribers and the telecom sector, and also the credibility of the authority,” it mentioned.

(Additionally learn: Jio interconnect usage charges top-up pack start from Rs 10: Here’s all you need to know)

Moreover, Jio submitted that the current session course of has been initiated with a pre-determined thoughts with out contemplating all related components and particulars pertaining to the termination of the IUC costs.

It mentioned that the Authority itself determined in IUC Regulation 2017 that “only by removing cost-based IUC, the vicious circle of ‘cost-based IUC till there is traffic symmetry’ can be broken”. Which is why Jio believes that the suitable time for BAK regime scheduled for 1 January 2020 can’t be interfered with.

(Additionally learn: In present anti-business climate, policy flip-flops like IUC rules change aren’t ideal prescription)

“These factors lead to a conclusion that the present consultation paper has not been issued to address traffic asymmetry, but to address the claimed financial stress of one or two operators at the cost of the interests of the subscribers and the telecom sector, and also the credibility of the Authority.”

“This consideration for deferral of the BAK regime would be against public interest and bad in law. It is also worthwhile to submit that the present trend indicates that traffic asymmetry is expected to be reversed in a few months and the present receivers are expected to become payers, hence, deferring the implementation of the BAK regime is not going to steer any operator away from the purported financial stress,” Jio concluded.

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the only beneficiary of Impartial Media Belief which controls Community18 Media & Investments Ltd which publishes Firstpost

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