Not Obligated to Provide Interconnectivity to Jio: Vodafone

Vodafone has told the Delhi High Court that it was not obligated to provide interconnectivity to Reliance Jio when it started operations in September 2016, as initially, it was providing only test services.

According to PTI report, the submission by Vodafone was made before Justice Rajiv Shakdher during the hearing of the company’s plea challenging telecom regulator TRAI’s recommendation to the Centre to impose INR 1,050 crore penalty on it for not giving interconnectivity to Jio.

Vodafone also moved an application seeking to place on record some documents it had obtained through the RTI Act as well as seeking from TRAI details of the test services run by Jio in the initial months after its launch.

The court has issued a notice to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and sought its response by September 5 on Vodafone’s application. It also issued notice on Reliance Jio’s application to be made a party in the case.

Meanwhile, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) told the court that it has heard all the service providers and would take a decision in three to four months on TRAI’s recommendation.

During the brief arguments, TRAI said that since a similar plea against the penalty recommendation has been moved by Idea Cellular before a larger bench, this matter too should be heard by the same bench.

According to reports, TRAI has recommended imposition of a fine of INR 50 crore for each of the 21 circles of Vodafone, except in Jammu and Kashmir, which totals INR 1,050 crore. TRAI had made similar recommendations against Airtel and Idea.

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