Playground spat as Jio makes waves

Newly formed 4G mobile network Jio is causing major waves by signing up an estimated 8 million subscribers thanks to its aggressive pricing, but being the new kid on the block comes at a price, writes’s Scott Bicheno.

Indian incumbents have two choices, they can either find ways of competing for those lost customers and outsmarting rivals, or they can sulk in the playground.

Jio accused Bharti Airtel of dragging its heels over points of interconnection (POI), the handing over of traffic from one network to another.

Airtel said it was a commercial dispute, which has since been settled.

Jio fired back claiming Airtel was “dilly-dallying” on adequate POIs as it suffered some 20 million failed calls.

Airtel wasn’t having any of it and pointed the finger at Jio’s network as the point of failure.

Since Jio formally opened up the network for free preview offers and disruptive pricing plans it has unsettled the competition quite a bit,” said Neil Shah of Counterpoint Research. “This is already evident from the unnecessary spat between the incumbents not releasing enough PoIs as well as higher rejection rate for Mobile Number Portability requests to the rising subscribers clinging on to Jio’s network.

Invariably it’s the customers that bear the brunt.

The incumbents might not have been ready for this huge incoming deluge of PoI requests but at the same time delaying the release of PoIs and letting customers suffer is breach of minimum threshold of Quality of Service guidelines laid out by TRAI and can be seen as anti-competitive.

If other MNOs such as Reliance and Aircel can join forces to take on increased competition from Jio, surely a big player like Airtel with its 256 million customers can find ways of being creative and improving its offering.

Think about the customers!


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