Mumbai (Maharashtra): Reliance Jio, the world’s largest mobile data network, said on Wednesday that calls made to other mobile operators will be charged at the prevailing interconnect usage charge (IUC) of 6 paise per minute through top-up vouchers till the time Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) abolishes IUC in line with its present regulation.
“We will share all data with TRAI to convince that zero IUC regime is in the best interest of consumers and how the huge number of missed calls is creating the wrong perception of asymmetric traffic,” it said in a statement.
“We are hopeful that the IUC charge will be done away with as per the current regulation and that this temporary charge will come to an end by December 31 and consumers will not have to pay this charge thereafter.”
In the meantime, consumers can use the additional data entitlement in lieu of the IUC top-up vouchers so that there is no effective tariff increase till the year-end, Jio said.
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 offnet calls. IUC charges are fixed by TRAI and are currently at 6 paise per minute. Since 2011, TRAI has repeatedly affirmed its stance that the IUC charges should be brought down to zero.
Jio said the price differential of free voice on Jio network and exorbitantly high tariffs on 2G networks causes the 35 crore to 40 crore 2G customers of Airtel and Vodafone-Idea to give missed calls to Jio customers. Jio 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 crore to 30 crore missed calls per day should have resulted in 65 crore 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, said Jio.