The war of words between Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio further escalated on Tuesday. Bharti responded against the Jio’s complaint to TRAI on Monday stating that the it is using a “flawed methodology” to justify its “inflated numbers” of profits earned by the incumbent telecom operators through interconnect usage charge (IUC). Bharti on Tuesday wrote a letter to TRAI chairman RS Sharma saying that Jio has “once again misrepresented” facts by its wrong calculations that not only include the gross minutes of usage (MoUs) instead of net MoUs, but, also the on-net (own network) incoming MoUs in their calculation for the IUC.
“We are amused to see that Jio has deliberately ignored the fact that IUC is an inter-operator settlement and no operator pays IUC for the on-net calls, as these are intra network calls. They have deliberately made this elementary error and mischievously used a completely flawed methodology just to justify the inflated numbers with a view to change perception. It is pertinent to note that Jio has been propagating these misleading numbers since TRAI’s IUC workshop held on July 18, 2017, and is now struggling to justify those inflated figures,” Bharti complained to the regulator.
The country’s largest telecom operator accused Jio of being “non-transparent” adding that the new entrant has so far not shared its IUC model with all stakeholders. “And yet, they continue to exaggerate and distort figures for TSPs like us who have transparently shared the costing models. This is nothing but a part of Jio’s sinister campaign aimed at misleading the authorities and public-at-large during the ongoing IUC consultation process”.
Bharti further said Jio’s objective is to bring down the IUC through the “misinformation campaign”, with it being the sole beneficiary of the lower IUC. “We believe that RJio’s allegations are not only baseless but are part of a campaign based on falsehoods and aimed at misleading the Authorities to create policy bias in its favour during the ongoing IUC consultation process,” Bharti said in its letter.
Reliance Jio, on Monday, had complained to the TRAI chairman that Bharti is trying to “distort” facts to influence the consultation process on IUC to hide “ill-gotten profits” that it has made by overcharging customers.
Jio’s complaint was in response to Bharti’s letter to the regulator refuting Jio’s claims that incumbent telecom operators pocketed `1 lakh crore in last five years (from FY13) due to the non-implementation of TRAI’S report on IUC that had talked about moving to a bill and keep (BAK) regime and stated that Jio is “misleading” the authority and the public by “maligning” its competitors. – Financial Express