- Until the situation improves, Jio has urged TRAI to suspend the mobile number portability process in Punjab and Haryana
- The target of the campaign is to disrupt RJIL services and leverage this disruptions to promote MNP to their TSP networks
For the past couple of years, the telecom operators in India are accusing each other of sabotaging networks, call drops and many other issues. This time, Reliance Jio has now accused Vodafone-Idea and Airtel of using its channel partners to sabotage the Jio’s network deliberately in the wake of the farmer’s protest. Mukesh Ambani complained to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ‘blatant efforts’ are being used by the rivals to reduce its number of users.
In an exclusive interview with The Electronics, Faisal Kawoosa, founder of TechARC said, “As of now, it is still unclear whether Airtel and Vi have been using its channel partners in sabotaging Jio’s network or not. These are accusations based on speculations and without proper facts. The operators are accusing each other since 2016 when Reliance launched Jio with free 4G services.”
In 2016, when Mukesh Ambani led Reliance launched Jio most of the telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Tata Teleservices turned to be bankrupt, which were already under large debts. They followed the path of Jio’s monopoly business patterns of free and cheaper 4G services and went into severe debts. Many of the rivals even failed to offer proper 4G services and were struggling to deal with it. Other than Jio, most of the operators are still required to pay the remaining amount out of the total Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the government.
In retaliation, Jio sent a letter to Anshu Prakash, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and P.D. Vaghela, Chairman, TRAI, mentioned that serious situations have commenced in Punjab and Haryana in the middle of ongoing farmer’s demurral.
In a press conference, Jio spokesperson said, “As a result of false and frivolous communication that Reliance will be an undue beneficiary of the farm bills passed by Parliament, Jio’s telecommunications network is being targeted by the protesters and the same is being disrupted and permanently damaged.”
Back in the second week of December 2020, Jio has also accused Vi and Bharti Airtel of reducing their user base under the guise of farmer support. During the protest, farmers said that they won’t be using Jio anymore and then on an urgent basis, the company wrote a letter to the telecom regulator body and stated that Vi and Airtel were carrying out “unethical” and “anti-competitive” mobile number portability campaign to capitalize on the ongoing farmer protest.
The official letter of Jio reads: “Airtel and VI are pursuing a “vicious” and “divisive” campaign through its employees, agents, and retailers. In order to read meager gains in port-in numbers, these service providers are intentionally defaming Reliance Jio by depicting it as against the farmers and projecting themselves as farmer-friendly while at the same time intentionally fanning the anti-government protests.”
Countering the action of Jio by terming it ‘outrageous’, Rahul Vatts, Airtel chief regulatory officer said to TRAI, “Airtel has operated in the telecom industry for 25 years. During this period, we have competed hard in the market place and strived to serve our customers with excellence. At the same time, we take great pride in treating our competitors and partners with respect.”
The imperative fact is that there are about a total of there is a blackout of 1,504 Jio towers in Punjab that represents 15 percent of the total number. The additional blackouts have been reported for more than 85 Jio towers in the Haryana belt.