Sunil Bharti Mittal made the statement to the press after TRAI expressed displeasure over the ongoing spat inconveniencing customers.
With telecom regulator TRAI taking a stern view of the ongoing spat between incumbents and new entrant Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal today offered an olive branch saying all issues will be resolved within a few weeks.
“It (Point of Interconnect) was non existent (issue). Suddenly this has become unnecessarily a big issue. I have told my team and sent messages to Mukesh (Ambani) and his team. Let’s ignore and resolve this. Every passing day and every passing week this will get resolved. I am not saying look out for 6 months or 1 year. Look out for few weeks and this will get settled,” he said in first comments on the spat with Reliance Jio that made a big bang entry into the sector offering free voice calls and data at rock-bottom price.
The sticking point between Jio and incumbent operators like Airtel has been providing points of interconnect (PoIs) which help users to complete calls on rival networks. Jio has accused Airtel and others of creating entry barriers by not providing enough points of interconnect, leading to a large number of call drops on its network. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India yesterday said it will take action against telecom operators if found guilty of compromising on service quality.
Mittal said Jio is being provided sufficient network interconnection points since the time it started commercial service. “You have to keep in mind September 5 was their commercial launch. 2000 PoIs have been provided and more are being provided. You can’t judge this industry in 10 days time. The problem is in the media and in the letter exchanged and all that. Temperature is unnecessarily being taken up. I think you need to lower that down. There needs to be a dialogue. People need to sit together,” he told ET Now.
Incumbents have alleged that the free calling service being offered by Jio is leading to huge incoming traffic on their networks, due to which they have to incur a huge cost and services to their customers are adversely impacted. “It (Jio’s 4G service) was all India launch at one go. Its a size and scale that is very big. Its also a fact that the launch was free voice and four months of free data,” Mittal said.
He said that no one must have anticipated impact of their launch. “We have a asymmetric traffic of 10 times to 1. We have to manage our own networks. We have to ensure that quality of service of my customers is not going down,” Mittal said.