RCOM and Bharti Airtel in disagreement over routing toll-free calls
By Sonali Shyam - Fri Aug 17, 11:47 pm
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The two giant telecom companies Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications are in disagreement and accusing each other over routing toll-free-calls also violation of an agreement set between the two back in 2007.
The dispute started after Airtel’s action to block toll-free calls from RCom’s enterprise calls. In response, RCOM has filed a petition against Bharti Airtel with Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)
For toll-free numbers, a telecom company has to enter an agreement with other operators, so that subscribers of different networks are not charged for calls to the toll free number.
According to the report, RCom had the same arrangement with Bharti Airtel, allowing subscribers to make calls to toll-free numbers, starting with ‘1800’ and ‘1860’. As per the agreement, RCom pays about 52p per call to Airtel.
Earlier, in 2007, RCOM signed an interconnection agreement with Bharti Airtel for enabling its consumers to dial toll-free numbers starting with ‘1800’ and ‘1860’. In return, RCOM agreed to pay about Re 0.5 per call to Bharti Airtel to offset the expenses towards the free call. However, issues between the two operators developed when RCOM started terminating some calls originating on Bharti Airtel’s network to a location outside India
According to Bharti Airtel, toll-free calls starting with ‘1800’ cannot be terminated outside India. The operator is of the view that for international toll-free calls, the number series should start with ‘00800’ and in such cases RCOM is supposed to pay Bharti Airtel Rs 1.10 per call.
Further, Bharti Airtel has alleged that RCOM has deprived it of a higher revenue share and has violated the national numbering plan by masking international toll-free calls under the 1800 series.
RCOM, on the other hand accused Airtel of creating ‘arificial’ distinction and it’s action as arbitrary There is no such distinction on using the 1800 series and the ‘00800’ series is applicable only to bilateral arrangements between an international operator and an Indian operator.
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