Airtel launches Voice over LTE, services go live in Mumbai

Airtel launches Voice over LTE, services go live in Mumbai”

Airtel's outgoing tariffs for off-net calls clearly shows a premium that it charges from its customers to compensate for the IUC that it would pay to other operators.

Airtel is the second operator after Mukesh Ambani-run Reliance Jio, a new entrant in the telecom space, to start such services in India. Airtel denied and said that the telco faced a massive loss of Rs. 6,800.

"At the outset, it is submitted that Airtel's contentions are misplaced and devoid of any fact and logic. We request that the authority may take appropriate action against Airtel for such mischievous and frivolous submissions", Jio said in a letter to TRAI Chairman R S Sharma.

Jio has countered that Bharti is trying to "confuse" the issue of IUC by providing "distorted" facts in a bid to influence the present consultation process on mobile termination charges (MTC). "Accordingly, we have reflected extra recovery of IUC made by incumbent operators at the cost of consumers and smaller operators in excess of Rs 1 lakh crore in terms of gross IUC receipts", it added. Now, the newcomer Reliance Jio has written a letter to Trai saying that Bharti Airtel has wrongly interpreted its proposal to "create a smokescreen to hide its ill-gotten profits" under the current IUC method.

In a presentation before TRAI, Reliance Jio had earlier said that telecom operators gained to the tune of Rs. 1 lakh crore from the IUC. Even in the case of non-availability of 4G, Airtel VoLTE calls will automatically fall back on 3G/2G network to ensure that customers continue to stay connected at all times, Bharti Airtel said in its press release dated September 11. Other telecom players have been offering voice calls to their 4G customers with support of their other established networks - 2G and 3G.

"Airtel has purposefully endeavoured to confuse the issue by adjusting this excess recovery against its IUC pay-out of around Rs. 24,750 crores, which Airtel has already recovered as part of tariff from its subscribers.(and) can not be again adjusted against total IUC receipt made by Airtel". Jio has made voice calls on its 4G network free for lifetime.

"Therefore Jio's calculation are blatantly misleading with false calculation to inflate the numbers. Over the next few months, we will rapidly accelerate the deployment of VoLTE to cover all key geographies to bring HD quality calling to our customers", said Abhay Savargaonkar, director for networks at Bharti Airtel, in a statement.

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