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Airtel, Idea and Vodafone face Rs.3,000-cr penalty for denying interconnection to Reliance Jio

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has imposed a cumulative penalty on Friday on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular for not providing interconnection to Reliance Jio.

A penalty of 50-crore per circle has been lieve on the three incumbent players, which could total more than ₹3,000 crore has been recommended.

According to TRAI, Airtel and Vodafone have to pay ₹1,050 crore each and Idea Cellular ₹950 crore. The penalty has been imposed for violating quality of service norms and deliberately blocking calls made from new operator Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd’s (Jio) network.

It also said the action of the three operators showed “ulterior motive to stifle competition”. Reliance had said that its quality of service to consumers was suffering due to this issue.

The regulator said the incumbent operators were in “non-compliance of the terms and conditions of licence and denial of interconnection to Reliance Jio appears to be with ulterior motive to stifle competition and is anti-consumer”.

“However, the authority is mindful of the fact that revocation of the licence will entail significant consumer inconvenience,” it said.