Whereas telecom tariffs will likely be determined by the market forces, Jio clients won’t ever be at an obstacle, Mathew Oommen, president, community, international technique and repair growth, Reliance Jio mentioned.
The assertion follows the corporate’s latest transfer to begin charging clients for voice calls after promising lifetime free calls citing uncertainty over overview of sundown clause for name termination prices.
“What was promised was that we will deliver [free] voice knowing very well the decision [on IUC] that was taken in 2011, which was implemented in 2017. And now, three months before, it is going through a consultation process when typically consultation process happens 18-24 months before,” Mr. Oommen mentioned.
“We could have done what others have done…We could have just bundled it. Nobody would have known. It would have been a tariff. But we chose not to do it. That’s why everybody’s talking about it. You are not going to other operators and asking how much are you charging for voice? Because it is bundled. And we chose not to bundle. That’s why you are here today raising the question about IUC,” Mr. Oommen argued.
The sectoral regulator TRAI, in September 2017, ordered a discount in interconnect utilization cost or IUC, which is paid by a telecom companies supplier whose subscriber makes a name to the service supplier whose subscriber receives the decision, to 6 paise per minute from October 1, 2017, whereas setting a timeline for eliminating it from January 1, 2020. Nonetheless, it has now determined to overview the timeline.
In an interview to The Hindu, Mr. Oommeen additionally questioned Jio being held answerable for the stress within the sector.
“Is there stress in the industry? I would say there is stress…but stress does not happen in two to three years in an industry of our size… stresses happen [because of] things that entities do over 10-12 years because we are a high capitalised, you know, long tail industry.”
“There are many players who have written that because of Jio many companies got shut down. And I think about it, is it because of Jio or the inefficient use of their technology, inefficient use of their business plan or is an inefficient use of their service plan? Or is it just to blame on somebody progressive that has come into the market, who has taken the nation to a new level… is progression seen as an antidote, and regression seen as right… its the question we should ask them,” he reasoned.
Requested about what occurs to tariff if scrapping of IUC is pushed additional, Mr. Oommen mentioned, “What will happen three months, six months, 12 months from now in terms of how the tariff structures are going to be, it is the market forces that are going to determine the tariff…our customers will never be in a disadvantage.”
He, nevertheless, added that there are modifications that may be executed to enhance the funding local weather in telecom sector. “What I mean is that telecom is highly taxed, almost 32% tax rate. And there is sufficient money, the USOF has over 50,000 crore. Till these get effectively utilised, pass on the benefit to TSPs by removing USO levy of 5%.” He additional advisable that license charge must be diminished to 1% from 3% now and spectrum utilization prices must be lower than 1% for all of the forthcoming auctions.