Jio Ups the Ante Against TRAI: To Charge 6 Paisa Per Minute For Calls to Rivals
Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (Jio) while intensifying its agitation against Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), has decided to charge 6 paisa per minute from all users who will call any other operator. Jio, however, says, since it will be providing equivalent data for the value of this top up voucher, there would be no increase for its subscribers. 
 
In a statement, Jio says, "...for all recharges done by Jio customers starting Wednesday, calls made to other mobile operators will be charged at the prevailing interconnect usage charge (IUC) rate of 6 paise per minute through IUC top-up vouchers till such time that TRAI moves to zero termination charge regime. Presently, this date is 1 January 2020."
 
There, however, will be no 6 paise per minute charge on all Jio to Jio calls; all incoming calls; calls made from Jio to landline calls; and calls made using WhatsApp or FaceTime and similar platforms, the company added.
 
 
(*Equivalent minutes with IUC charged at 6 paise per minute, with additional charge for GST and processing fee, and duration of each call rounded up to nearest minute.)
 
IUC is a cost paid by one mobile telecom operator to another, when its customers make outgoing mobile calls to the other operator's customers. These calls between two different networks are known as mobile off-net calls. IUC charges are fixed by TRAI and are currently at 6 paise per minute. 
 
Jio says since 2011, TRAI has repeatedly affirmed its stand that the IUC charges should be brought done to zero. However, after bringing down the IUC charges to 6 paisa per minute from 14 paise per minute from 1 October 2017, and promising to make it zero, the regulator has not done anything, Jio alleges.
 
It says, "Relying on the repeated stance of TRAI and the amendment already made to the regulations reducing the IUC to Zero, Jio continued to pay IUC from its own resources to Airtel and Vodafone-Idea among others while offering free voice to its customers. So far, in the last three years Jio has paid nearly Rs13,500 crore as NET IUC charges to the other operators."
 
"Unfortunately, after the above order in 2017, while the incumbent operators reduced voice tariffs for their 4G customers, they continued to charge exorbitant tariffs to their 35 - 40 crore 2G customers, and in fact increased the tariffs for voice calls to around Rs1.50 per minute. They also charge a minimum of Rs500 per GB for data from their 2G customers," Jio added.
 
According to the Reliance group company, the price differential of free voice on Jio network and exorbitantly high tariffs on 2G networks causes the 35 - 40 crore 2G customers of Airtel and Vodafone-Idea to give missed calls to Jio customers and its network receives 25 to 30 crore missed calls on a daily basis.
 
"This huge missed call phenomena converts the incoming calls to Jio into outgoing calls from Jio to other operators. The 25 to 30 crore missed calls per day should have resulted in 65 to 75 crore minutes of incoming traffic to Jio. Instead, the call back made by the Jio customers results in 65 to 75 crore minutes of outgoing traffic. But for the effects of the tariff differential, especially the missed call phenomenon, the off-net voice traffic is already symmetrical now for Jio. It is being made asymmetric by the other operators by keeping their 2G voice tariffs high," it says.
 
While levying 6 paisa per minute from its subscribers for making calls to other operator, Jio says it will provide additional data entitlement of equivalent value based on IUC top-up voucher consumption to ensure no increase in tariff for customers.
 
"Post-paid customers will be billed at 6 paise per minute for off-net outgoing calls with increase in free data entitlement to the extent mentioned above," it added.
 
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    COMMENTS

    P M Ravindran

    1 month ago

    For once my sympathies are with Reliance. Given that the missed call phenomenon is almost exclusively Indian, the the IUC is irrational and even biased in favour of the incompetent. But I am wondering why is the regulator not bothered about the poor service at high cost that the Airtel and Vodafone-Idea operators are providing to their 2G consumers vis a vis their own 4G consumers. Shouldn't the regulator intervene to neutralise this disparity/discrimination?

    Deepak Narain

    1 month ago

    Difficult to understand implications. Should be written in common man's language.

    SpiceJet allowed to self-handle cargo, private firms fume
    The Civil Aviation Ministry has allowed Ajay Singh-led SpiceJet to carry out self-handing of cargo from "off-airport facilities", causing heartburn among private airport operators.
     
    The order has been issued in accordance with ground-handling regulations (GHA), 2018 but has left some of the private airport operators miffed as this means loss of revenue for them.
     
    The private airport operators want all the cargo to move through the designated handlers at the airport and argue non-adherence of this may create safety issues.
     
    In its order, the nodal Ministry has said that SpiceJet would self-handle their cargo subject to required clearance from aviation security watchdog, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
     
    "The matter has been examined in this Ministry in the light of GHA regulations and permission of BCAS to SpiceJet Pvt Ltd to self-handle its own cargo and it has been decided that necessary instructions be issued to airport operators to comply with above directions and facilitates all domestic airlines for self-handling of their own cargo from off-airport facilities in a seamless manner and ensure that no hurdle is faced by the domestic airlines by the airport operators in the matter," the Aviation Ministry wrote to BCAS.
     
    SpiceJet operates a dedicated air cargo service under the brand name SpiceXpress with a fleet of B737 aircraft. As in case of passengers, the airline has aggressively expanded its cargo operations on both domestic and international routes.
     
    SpiceJet has fast expanded its passenger operations, adding new planes to its fleet.
     
    Following Jet Airways shutdown last April, the government had waived a mandatory customs requirement to send the grounded airline's aircraft first to the lessor and then bring it back to India. SpiceJet had benefitted the most from the move as it allowed the carrier to swiftly take over the grounded aircraft of Jet Airways.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Auto sales continue to be on slow track in September
    Low consumer sentiment continued to subdue sales performance of the Indian automobile sector in September, as major industry players reported significant decline in their respective sales figures.
     
    On the flip side, there was some recovery seen in the sales momentum over August 2019, however, market observers said that more time for the recent policy measures to kick-in and extra incentives for consumers need to be given for the growth trend to re-emerge.
     
    On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the passenger car market leader -- Maruti Suzuki India -- reported a 24.4 per cent decline in its total vehicle sales, including exports.
     
    A total of 122,640 units, including exports, were sold last month, compared to 162,290 vehicles sold in September 2018. Out of the total sales, domestic sales fell 24.8 per cent to 115,452 vehicles.
     
    The auto major's exports last month were recorded at 7,188 units, 17.8 per cent lower than 8,740 units exported in September 2018.
     
    Similarly, automobile major Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) reported a decline of 8.1 per cent in its overall sales to 57,705 units from 62,757 units sold during September 2018.
     
    The company's domestic sales edged lower by 14.8 per cent to 40,705 units from 47,781 units. However, exports went up by 13.5 per cent to 17,000 units from 14,976 units shipped abroad in September 2018.
     
    Another automobile major -- Tata Motors -- reported a 48.02 per cent slump in overall September sales to 36,376 vehicles in domestic and international markets compared to 69,991 units sold in the year-ago period.
     
    The company reported a 50 per cent decline in domestic sales last month to 32,376 units from 64,598 units sold in September 2018.
     
    In case of commercial vehicles, the sales declined by 45.4 per cent to 28,079 units compared to 51,419 units in the year-ago period.
     
    "With the ongoing subdued demand, we continued our focus on the system stock correction by driving retail and aligning production," Girish Wagh, President, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors, said in a statement on Tuesday.
     
    "Retail sales are estimated to be ahead of wholesale figures by over 16 per cent in September and over 27 per cent in the second quarter, reducing stock to a six-quarter low. We are monitoring the impact of the relief package announced by the government, and look forward to improved demand from revival in consumption and spend in infrastructure projects," Wagh said.
     
    Besides, the company sold 8,097 passenger vehicles last month, which is a decline of 56 per cent over 18,429 units traded during the same period last year.
     
    Further, Mahindra & Mahindra's overall automotive sales went down 21 per cent in September 2019 to 43,343 vehicles compared to 55,022 vehicles during September 2018.
     
    The company's domestic sales edged lower by 21 per cent to 40,692 units from 51,268 units, while exports went down by 29 per cent to 2,651 units from 3,754 units shipped abroad in September 2018.
     
    According to Veejay Ram Nakra, Chief of Sales and Marketing, Automotive Division, M&M: "We are positive that this festive season, with the onset of Navratra, will augur well for us and the automotive industry.
     
    "This, in addition to factors such as good monsoon and the recently announced positive government initiatives should help revive the industry in the short term."
     
    Apart from vehicle manufacturers, the sales of two-wheelers were also heavily dented.
     
    Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India's total sales in September 2019 stood at 485,659 units, down from 555,740 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.
     
    Hero MotoCorp sold 612,204 units of motorcycles and scooters during the month under review, down from 769,138 units sold during the year-ago period.
     
    On the other hand, Suzuki Motorcycle India registered a YoY sales growth of 2.11 per cent to 73,658 units as compared to the 72,134 units off-take in the same period last year.
     
    Commenting on passenger cars and commercial vehicles segment, Sridhar V., Partner, Grant Thornton India, said: "New introductions have been instrumental in the slight recovery in passenger car sales in September over August, while the YoY numbers indicate the extremely cold nature of the market. The market is yet to see the recovery mode set in."
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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