Skip to main content

Top "telecom cartels" Airtel, Vodafone, Idea blamed for "monopolistic" practice amid continued rush for Reliance Jio

People queue up to get Jio sim
By Our Representative
Amidst escalating corporate war over mobile operation, the powerful Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has blamed India's three topmost telecom companies, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, for undermining healthy competition and promoting monopolistic practices by “denying” people the right to choose between existing cellular services.
Claiming that Reliance Jio, a new entrant in the market, has “shaken up the complacency” which existed among these telecom "cartels", a top RIL functionary known to be close to the Ambani family, has said, the reach for Jio is just an indicator “as to the extent of customer dissatisfaction” with the existing cellular "cartels".
Indeed, huge rush continues in top Indian cities for Jio's 4G enables cellular sim card, offered for free for the initial period till December 31. Long queues, especially of youths, can be seen at all Reliance Digital stores, for instance, in Ahmedabad.
“If you want it without a queue, which begins early at 7.00 am and lasts till late evening, either you buy a 4G mobile at the store, or it is offered for Rs 500 in black”, Ketan Mehta, a senior citizen, wanting to have a Jio sim, told Counterview, finding it impossible to stand in a queue.
In an article  titled “Where Jio dares competitors, Telcos cartel connives to block Jio” Parimal Nathwani, Group President of Corporate Affairs, RIL, and member, Rajya Sabha, has quoted American evangelical author on the Christian worldview Nancy Pearcy to say how “monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.”
“It is a sad commentary that instead of gearing up for competition, they are busy using unfair means to block it”, Nathwani says, adding, “Ever since the launch of Reliance Jio, it has been a series of battles to be allowed call connect with other non-Jio networks or for mobile number portability.”
To launch its 4G debut, Reliance Jio acquired pan India BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) spectrum in 2010, but launched it on September 5 this year.
Admits Nathwani, “Ever since the Jio services began, it has witnessed 75-80 per cent call failures over the last few weeks.” He adds, “In over a period of 10 days alone, 52 crore calls failed cumulatively on the networks of the three incumbent operators Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.”
Calling “blocking of calls” a breach of licence conditions with severely impacting customer interests, Nathwani says it is “unfair to allow them to monopolize the space and deny customers truly world class Internet services that Jio aspires to do”.
He adds, “In blatant disregard to licence terms and their obligations under the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulations, 2009” the incumbent dominant operators have “rejected all the requests made for porting between September 9 and September 12.”
Saying that “instead of upping their game and being willing to face competitive pricing head on”, the established telecom “cartels” are “choosing every ways and means to block” Jio, Nathwani warns, “We will keep reminding our competitors” to let the customer “decide the service he chooses.”
Amidst the continued corporate war around Jio, the Telecom Regulatory Authoriy of India (TRAI), has “decided” to issue show cause notice to the three operators, even as issuing "directions" to them to "ensure compliance of licensing condition in connection with the Points of Interconnect issue”.
TRAI, significantly, moved only after a complaint from Reliance Jio.

Comments

TRENDING

It's now official: Developed Gujarat's regular, casual workers earn less than 19 top states

By Rajiv Shah
Though not as low as state chief minister Vijay Rupani claims it to be (0.9%), Gujarat’s unemployment rate, at least as reflected in a recent report released by the Government of India, is 4.8%, lower than the national average, 6%. Yet, ironically, the same report, released soon after the Lok Sabha polls came to an end in May 2019, brings to light an even grimmer reality: Lower wages in "model" and "developed" Gujarat compared to virtually the whole of India, including the so-called Bimaru states.

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

Amaravati: World Bank refusing to share public grievances on Land Pooling Scheme

By Our Representative
A new report, prepared by the advocacy group Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), New Delhi, has taken strong exception to the World Bank refusing to share its independent assessment of the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), floated by the Andhra Pradesh government in order to build the new capital.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

Include all workers exposed to silica dust in anti-TB programme: Govt of India told

Counterview Desk
In a letter, sponsored by well-known civil rights organization, Occupational & Environmental Health Network of India and signed by more than 60 professionals and activists*, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has been told that Indian policy makers shouldn't just acknowledge higher TB risk to mine and stone crusher workers, but also “other silica-exposed workers”.

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

Polygamy in India "down" in 45 yrs: Muslims' from 5.7 to 2.55%, Hindus' 5.8 to 1.77%, "common" in SCs, STs

By Rajiv Shah
Amidst All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) justifying polygamy, saying it “meets social and moral needs and the provision for it stems from concern and sympathy for women”, facts suggest the the practice is down from 5.7 per cent of Muslim families in 1961 to 2.55 per cent in 2006.

TISS Hyderabad: Burden of funds cut falls on students from 'marginalized' sections

Counterview Desk
Top activists associated with the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), a civil society network, including Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Shankar Singh, Dr Binayak Sen, and Prafulla Samantara, has protested against the decision of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) administration for “sine die” closure of TISS, Hyderabad Campus, even as “denying” hostel access to Dalit and Adivasi students.