Reliance Jio has been vocal about Airtel's non-compliance towards mobile number portability (MNP) and releasing sufficient points of interconnect (PoIs). Now, Airtel has finally spoken up about the allegations. In an interview with the Economic Times, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal responded to the rising animosity and assured a quick resolution.
On Tuesday, Mittal said in his first interview after the Jio launch that the issues surrounding MNP and PoIs with Jio will be sorted out over the next few weeks.
While being accused of not releasing sufficient PoIs for Jio to establish a reliable network for voice calls, Mittal said that Airtel is and will be releasing PoIs to Jio as required.
"With every passing week things will get better on the PoIs issue. We all agree that the PoIs issue needs to stop and it will cease in a few weeks. There needs to be a dialogue between all companies to correct the issues," Mittal told ET.
Mittal also assured that Airtel would not stop any porting out requests to Jio.
Despite Reliance Jio's massive disruption in the telecom industry that has painted a new level of competition, Airtel is confident to take on its rival given its strong foothold in the country.
"We are a product of competition. There was AT&T, Hutchinson was here, Etisalat came, Telenor, we are fighting with Idea and Vodafone on a daily basis. So, the best and the brightest have been here and so, we must have done something right," Mittal said.
Reliance Jio's free voice calls and affordable data packages sent waves of anxiety across the telecom industry, but filled consumers' hearts with joy. As a result, incumbent carriers have revised several data and voice tariffs to match that of Jio. But the current telcos fell short in front of Jio when the new carrier offered unlimited data, voice and SMS free until December 31, 2016.
Jio considers itself in the testing phase and the commercial launch of its services is set for 1 January, 2017. Since the Mukesh Ambani-led start-up wants to ensure quality service at launch, it has been negotiating with TRAI and telcos to help it achieve that point by releasing necessary PoIs.
Over the course of its trial, Jio has strongly accused rivals for not complying with the TRAI regulations. But its quarrels got intense with Airtel, as it commands the largest subscriber base in the country.
Airtel earlier responded to Jio's accusations on other telcos as a way to cover-up its technical shortcomings. "It appears that the constant rhetoric may be a ploy by Jio to cover up some technical issues in their own network, which is causing call failures, by constantly blaming other operators," Airtel said last week.