Low-hanging fruits of telecom war shouldn't turn sour
Archana Khatri Das
It appears that Prime Minister Modi is all enthused over the ongoing competition in the telecom space. And what's more, wants the fledgling Reliance Jio to quickly take wings.
He tweeted in a lighter vein on Sunday, “4 terrorists killed in #UriAttack, that's really sad, JIO lost 4 potential customers.”
The war of words between India and Pakistan may continue for ever, but the telecom war between Reliance Jio and older boys in the Indian telecom space is unlikely to stretch beyond a point.
Even before the slugfest turned deeper, telecom regulator had emphatically made it clear to all the stakeholders involved to clear the air as soon as possible, because ultimately it is the consumer who suffers.
Undoubtedly, Jio customers are facing disruption in service and quality, and this could be just a tactic employed by the incumbents/Airtel to test the patience of Jio aspirants. The situation is not likely to remain permanent.
Jio has alleged that on an average, there are 2 crore call drops on a daily basis due to insufficient Points of Interconnections given by Airtel. Counter allegations have flown in from the Airtel camp, and veracity of the allegations can only be verified by a third party.
Jio's troubles can be merely be termed as teething troubles, and the situation is likely to ease as Trai intervenes, this time with clearer rules for interconnection.
It's a fact that competition brings out the best in products, and the principal applies to Indian telecom space too. Jio brought disruptive technology by offering IP-based network built on 4G LTE and voice calls only on Voice over LTE (VoLTE), a departure from the usual cellular network. And, who would have expected 3GB of 4G data for as low as Rs 299! The fruits of competition will keep hanging low, as long as the competition remains healthy.
The task for the telecom regulator is clearly cut out,and that is: not to let the low hanging fruits turn sour for consumers.