Vodafone has a filed petition in the Delhi High court challenging telecom regulator TRAI’s Rs 1050 crore penalty for allegedly violating license norms by denying interconnection points to new telco entrant Reliance Jio, reports Economic Times. The court will hear the petition on 21 December. MediaNama has written to Vodafone for a response and will update this when we hear from them.
In October, TRAI recommended a combined penalty of Rs 3050 crore on Airtel, Idea and Vodafone for allegedly denying interconnection to Jio. At that time, TRAI pointed out that operators were found to “willfully violate the license conditions.” However, last month, a PTI report said that TRAI requested Airtel, Vodafone and Idea to “mutually” resolve an issue of interconnection with Reliance Jio. The proposal to fine operators is yet to be reviewed by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT).
The battle between Jio and rest of operators began after telecom lobby association COAI went against Jio’s network trails in August stating that the amount of traffic being generated from the Jio trials are “choking” points of interconnection (PoI), and “impairing” quality of service of other operators. Jio went on to claim that crores of calls were failing while interconnecting with Airtel, Idea, and Vodafone, while the incumbent operators claimed to have released adequate PoIs to Jio and that it was Jio who was delaying optimisation of the PoIs released. A timeline of this is here.