After Airtel, Vodafone Idea responds to Reliance Jio’s decision to charge 6 paise per minute
Vodafone Idea said that Reliance Jio’s move to charge its subscribers 6 paise per minute for voice calls was an action of undue haste.
Vodafone-Idea on Wednesday joined Airtel to criticise Reliance Jio for charging subscribers 6 paise per minute on voice calls to other networks. Describing the move as "an action of undue haste", the company said that the interconnect usage charge (IUC) was a settlement between the operators and that it did not concern consumer pricing. The operator also said that Reliance Jio's recent move to reduce ringing time could adversely impact the revenues of other operators.
"Vodafone Idea operates basis the singular principle of pro-consumer and pro-choice. Accordingly, our offerings are completely transparent, affordable and cater to a cross section of society and consumers with varying consumption needs via multiple technologies 2G, 3G & 4G. Even today over 50% of Indian citizens use 2g and feature phones and we service them in remote parts of the country even when it is unprofitable for us to do so," said the company in a statement.
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"Consumers are not on a position to distinguish between on net and off net calls and we do not want to burden our subscribers with the inconvenience of trying to do so. All our plans cater to both on net and off net calls and you do not need to buy separate vouchers to do so. More than 60% of our consumers have low spends and do not need expensive plans where the commitments are high and so you need to spend large sums of money," it added.
Earlier, Reliance Jio announced charging its subscribers for voice calls made to other networks. The company had so far offered free voice calls to its subscribers. The operator said that it had paid nearly ₹13,500 crore as IUC charges to other networks in the last three years. Reliance Jio also pointed out that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had aimed to abolish IUC charges by January, 2020 after it slashed IUC charges to 6 paise from 14 paise in 2017.
"The price differential of free voice on Jio network and exorbitantly high tariffs on 2G networks causes the 35 - 40 crore 2G customers of Airtel and Vodafone-Idea to give missed calls to Jio customers. Jio network receives 25 to 30 crore missed calls on a daily basis," Reliance Jio said in a statement