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Why Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea are fighting over ring time

Airtel had recently written a letter to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), cautioning the regulator that the telco would be forced to slash ring duration for outgoing calls from its network to 20 seconds, just as Jio did.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In        Last Updated: September 27, 2019  | 10:32 IST
Why Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea are fighting over ring time
Reliance Jio, the telecom company led by Mukesh Ambani has increased the ring time for outgoing calls from its network from 20 to 25 seconds.

Reliance Jio, the telecom company led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, has increased the ring time for outgoing calls from its network from 20 to 25 seconds. But, this 5-second time extension by the telco has not resonated well with rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea as they are stuck on their demand for a minimum 30-second ring time.

The development comes following Airtel's recent letter to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), cautioning it that the telco would be forced to slash ring duration for outgoing calls from its network to 20 seconds, just as Jio did. Airtel had requested TRAI to ask Jio to increase its ring time, which is the focal point of the row between the two companies.

Also Read: Reliance Jio-owned Haptik acquires conversational commerce platform Buzzo.ai

Reliance Jio has "increased the ring time for outgoing calls to 25 seconds - from 20 seconds - as an interim step till the sector regulator issues final guidelines on the matter," a source told the Economic Times.

In its letter to TRAI, Airtel had accused Jio of reducing its ring time to manipulate the interconnection usage charge (IUC) regime. The telecompany alleged that a shorter ring alert meant more missed calls, which in turn would lead to more return phone calls to Jio's network. This, as Airtel claimed, would allow the latter to bring down its IUC payouts to incumbent telecompanies. Meanwhile, Jio has dismissed the accusation, claiming that 15-20 seconds is a globally followed standard, the report said.

Also Read: Vodafone Idea share climbs 17% after firm emerges as largest telco in July, beats Reliance Jio

However, this matter was discussed at a TRAI meeting on September 6. Several telecompanies namely, Airtel, Voda Idea, BSNL and MTNL endorsed a minimum ring duration of 30 seconds for answering a call, saying it's in the interest of both customers and network performance.

But Jio sought the ring time to be set at 25 seconds, claiming that 20 seconds was enough for a called party to respond, and a prolonged span wastes spectrum resources. "There's no change in our stated position outlined in the minutes of the September-6 Trai meeting as we haven't received any subsequent communication from either the regulator or Jio on this matter," a source told the news daily.

Following this discussion at the meet, TRAI invited industry views on the duration of a phone ring before a call gets disconnected. The telecom regulator, in its consultation paper on "Duration of alert for the called party", sought the suggestions to ensure the optimum utilisation of network and spectrum resources. The report adds that TRAI has asked the telecom companies to reach a consensus on the issue before the conclusion of the consultation paper.

Also Read: Airtel cries foul, accuses Reliance Jio of gaming the system by reducing call ring time

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