Terming the overall Points of Interconnect situation as "better" than before, regulator Trai has said Vodafone and Idea Cellular are meeting norms in all circles, while for Bharti Airtel the congestion level is beyond permissible limit in eight circles.
It (the congestion situation) is much, much better than what it was," Trai Chairman R S Sharma said when asked about the status of PoI congestion, an issue that has been a flashpoint between newcomer Reliance Jio and the incumbent telecom operators.
"I am told that PoI congestion vis-a-vis Vodafone and Idea is in a very good shape. Airtel also has reduced considerably but in some circles it is beyond the permissible limit of 0.5 per cent," Sharma said.
It may be recalled that on January 16, Reliance Industries had said that call failure rates continue to be of the order of 175 calls failing out of every 1,000 calls from Reliance Jio to Airtel network when the service quality regulations mandate that no more than 5 calls out of every 1,000 calls can fail.
RIL's telecom venture Reliance Jio, which has clocked 72.4 million subscribers within four months of its full launch -- has said it continues to face congestion issues, as interconnect capacity provided by some large operators is "still way below requirement".
Citing data available with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India as on January 22, Sharma noted that both Vodafone and Idea Cellular are now measuring up to the stipulated benchmarks in all circles.
"Congestion in case of Bharti Airtel, is for eight circles...," he pointed out.
The Trai Chairman said there are some "minor" issues with regard to PoIs for National Long Distance service. "But broadly, the things are clear as far as our statistics is concerned on PoIs for access services," he said.
Sharma said Trai has got assurance from operators for provision of adequate and appropriate number of PoIs, and reduction of congestion levels.
"We will continue to work with the concerned operators to improve the situation. The Trai Secretary has had a number of meetings with the concerned operators and reviewed the situationand we continue to look at it," he said.
Over the last few months, Trai has meeting operators at regular intervals to emphasise that for customer convenience and consumer protection, it is important that benchmarks pertaining to call drops are met and that violation should not continue any further.
New entrant Reliance Jio had accused incumbent operators of not providing it sufficient PoIs leading to massive call failures, while the operators have blamed the free calls offered by the newcomer for tsunami of network traffic.