35,000 PoIs given to Jio in 5 months: Airtel

A day after the Telecom Commission sought answers from the sector regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on how a cumulative penalty of Rs 3,050 crore was slapped on incumbent telcos for ‘’failing’’ to provide adequate points of interconnect (PoIs) to Reliance Jio, the largest operator Bharti Airtel has come out with data to defend its own case.

Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said it had provided RJio with sufficient PoIs to serve as many as 190 million mobile customers in just five months, even as it had 72.5 million estimated users till now.

While blaming the Mukesh Ambani-led venture’s free services for “tsunami” of incoming voice traffic on its network that impacted service experience of its users, Airtel has indicated that it rolled out PoIs to RJio at a much faster pace than to other telcos. For instance, Airtel has provided 35,000 PoIs to RJio in five months against 40,673 to Vodafone in 21 years and 38,134 to Idea again in 21 years. Compared to 72.5 million subscriber base of RJio, Vodafone has 202 million and Idea 185 million users each.

“Jio has been unable to activate all the PoIs and utilise the capacity provided,” Airtel pointed out.

“It, therefore, appears that the constant rhetoric by Jio with regard to PoIs is aimed at covering up technical issues in their own network or their inability to activate the PoIs given,” the Sunil Mittal-led group added.

At its meeting on Monday, the Telecom Commission, besides questioning Trai on the methodology of arriving at a penalty on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, also sought clarification from the regulator on whether the 90-day period was given to telecom operators for providing points of interconnection to RJio.

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