Reliance Industries has strongly refuted the claims of the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) that its members are providing sufficient interconnection points for Jio's 4G services, saying the reality was that such access was grossly inadequate.
The reaction follows a statement by the industry body on Wednesday on behalf of its members, including Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, rejecting the request from Reliance Jio for additional points of interconnect from its member companies on the ground that optimal links have already been provided.
"Based on industry practice, 12,500 E1 ports (interconnect points, with technical parameters) are required for 22 million subscribers, which details have been provided to the COAI member operators," said a Reliance Industries statement.
"As against this, the top 3 operators have released only 1,400 ports so far," the company said. A rough calculation suggests Jio, as per the above, would need a little over 8,500 ports given a subscriber base of 15 million -- thus, a shortfall of over six times.
"As you can see, it is grossly incorrect to suggest that sufficient number of ports have been given to support 15 million users. This is reflected in the experience in the field where over 65 per cent of calls to networks of the top 3 operators are failing today," said the Jio statement.
"There are over 1.8 crore failed calls per day to these networks."
Jio has set a target of achieving 100 million subscribers in the first year of commercial rollout of its service.
In a statement on Wednesday, COAI Director General Rajan S. Mathews had said given their assessment of Jio subscriber base adequate interconnect capacity had already been provided to meet the usual demand.
"We understand Reliance Jio presently has approximately 2 to 3 million customers using their network. Hence, we are unable to substantiate Reliance Jio's claim for additional capacity," he added -- which has also been conveyed to the industry watchdog.
Prior to this, in a letter to the watchdog, Reliance Jio had requested for directives to the existing service providers to immediately provide interconnection to its Jio 4G network with their own, in the spirit of the licensing agreements.
But the members of COAI, through letters to the government and the watchdog, had alleged that Reliance Jio had already launched a full commercial service in the garb of test runs.