NEW DELHI: Mobile operators' association COAI has told a parliamentary panel that its efforts to anchor a meeting over contentious interconnect issue failed to take off after Jio held that its intervention is not warranted on a "bilateral matter".
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written to Anurag Singh Thakur, Chairman of Standing Committee on Information Technology, saying COAI invited all members for a meeting on November 16, in line with the Committee's "instruction" to attempt to resolve points of interconnect (PoI) issue. "However, on... November 15, 2016, COAI received an e-mail from RJIL (Reliance Jio) stating that provision of PoIs is a subject matter which is inter se between the parties and RJIL has been regularly intimating relevant operators regarding the requirement and provisioning of PoIs," sources told PTI quoting from the letter dated November 24. "And in the given circumstances, it will not be appropriate to discuss this issue at the broader COAI forum."
As a result, the meeting was called off, the COAI letter said. COAI further pointed out that on November 16, it had once again asked RJIL to reconsider the stance and agree to a meeting as the industry body was "merely playing the role of getting the various operators together". "... However, once again, on November 17, RJIL reiterated that they desired to pursue all PoI-related discussions with the relevant operators directly and there was no need to have a meeting at COAI. RJIL submitted that COAI has no role to play in the matter," the letter said.
The association further claimed that Jio indicated it would require written instructions from the Committee confirming COAI's representation that such a meeting had indeed been called for. "... in spite of the best efforts by COAI to comply with the direction of the SPC and convene a meeting to bring all members for resolution of the PoI dispute, such efforts have failed," COAI regretted. Jio, according to the COAI letter, has stated that the matter is bilateral in nature, PoI is governed by licence conditions, inter-connection is subject to enforcement by DoT and TRAI and the former is already seized of the matter, adding that "COAI's intervention is not warranted and is inappropriate on the matter".