IUC row: Jio accuses Airtel of misrepresenting facts to influence Trai

Jio said Airtel has misrepresented Jio's data to hide its 'ill-gotten gains' and influence the IUC consultation process.

Mumbai: Reliance Jio, which has time and again been accused of causing disruptions has slammed Bharti Airtel, accusing it of misrepresenting Jio’s data to influence the discussions with Trai on interconnect usage charges (IUC).

According to a report in the Economic Times, Jio asked telecom regulator Trai to take actions against incumbent Airtel for misinterpreting Jio’s facts purposely to ‘create a smoke-screen to hide its ill-gotten profits’ under the present interconnect usage charge (IUC) regime.

Telecom players in India have been locked in an intense price battle to decide call connect charges as telecom regulator Trai is yet to take a call.

Jio’s attack on Airtel came after the latter’s letter to Trai in August claimed that Jio’s entry had caused disruptions to the telecom industry. The letter said that the new entrant was trying to influence Trai by claiming that India’s top three telcos had benefited by almost Rs 1 lakh crore in the last five years from IUC not being cut.

Airtel had further claimed that it suffered a Rs 6,800 crore-loss on account of below cost IUC.

“At the outset, it is submitted that Airtel’s contentions are misplaced and devoid of any fact and logic,” Jio said. “It is obvious that this misrepresentation of facts and wrong interpretation of data has been carried out purposefully to create a smokescreen to hide its ill-gotten profits and to support its false pretense of loss under the existing IUC regime,” Jio wrote in the letter dated September 11.

IUC is a fee that a destination network charges to the source network for connecting and ending a call from the source network. It is the cost of the incoming call which the receiving company incurs. At present, it is fixed at 14 paise per minute as call termination charge for the receiving companies.

Incumbent players like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have been demanding a hike in IUC while Jio wants the fee to scrapped altogether.

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