TRAI Slaps Rs 3,050 Cr Fine on Airtel, Vodafone, Idea for Denial of Interconnection to Jio

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has slapped a hefty Rs 3,050 crore fine on the country’s top three network operators after they found they were denying points of interconnection (POI) to new entrant Reliance Jio. TRAI said the trio’s denial of POI to Jio “appears to be with ulterior motive to stifle competition and is anti-consumer”.

Jio’s entry in the telecom space has triggered a war over network points that connects its customers with Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea, prompting the company to lodge a complaint with TRAI. Jio has alleged that its subscribers were unable to make calls to other networks as other operators were not providing adequate POI.

TRAI said the incumbent operators’ act warrants a recommendation for the revocation of their licence, however, doing so would cause consumer inconvenience, therefore the fine. While the recommended fine for Airtel and Vodafone amounts to Rs 1,050 crore for 21 service areas, for Idea the penalty has been suggested for 19 service areas at Rs 950 crore.