TRAI defends Rs. 3050 Crore penalty on Airtel, Vodafone, Idea

trai-defends-penalty-on-airtel-vodafone-ideaTelecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has defended its recommendation of Rs 3,050 crore penalty on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular for their alleged failure to provide adequate points of interconnect (PoIs) to newcomer Reliance Jio for completing phone calls. The TRAI while clearing its stand, stated that this was well within their powers to suggest the penalisation as the incumbents had violated the TRAI regulations and licence norms. The telco majors have refuted any wrongdoing, with Idea and Vodafone moving to the court arguing that the TRAI does not have the authority to recommend penalties.
In a detailed response to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) letter, the regulator said these telcos intentionally denied and delayed the provision of points of interconnect to Reliance Jio only to restrict the latter’s entry, which caused a lot of inconvenience to consumers. The regulator said that the denial of PoIs was aimed at stifling competition, and it should ideally have led to the cancellation of licences. “The authority considered the fact that revocation of the licence will entail significant consumer inconvenience and, therefore, recommended a penal action of Rs 50 crore per licence area where points of interconnect (PoI) congestion exceeded the allowable limit of 0.5%. Clearly, penalty to a telecom service provider amounts much less in severity than revocation of its licence,” TRAI said.

Filed in: Airtel, DoT, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio, Stock Market, Telecom News, Telecom Operators, TRAI, Vodafone India, World News Tags: , , , , ,

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