In response to Jio’s decision on free calls, Vodafone Idea today said that the termination charge of IUC (Interconnect User Charges) is a settlement between operators and not a consumer pricing matter. Bringing up the matter seems like an attempt to distract from other major issues in the sector.
Here is what Vodafone Idea stated in response to Reliance Jio’s decision to stop free calls to other network operators. Jio will charge 6 paise per minute for offnet voice calls. Jio users have to recharge separately to make other calls to other network operator.
The announcement by one of the telecom service providers today to charge for calls made to other service providers to cover the termination charge of IUC is not only an action of undue haste but it also does not bring out the fact that interconnect is a settlement between operators and not a consumer pricing matter.
In our view, its TRAI’s call for a consultation on IUC keeping in mind the continuing asymmetry in traffic and in line with its earlier stated position on the matter.
This announcement comes closely to the action taken recently to potentially hurt revenues of other operators with its recent unilateral action of reducing ringing time.
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.
VIL is Pro-Consumer
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.
VIL is Pro-Choice
Vodafone Idea is committed to catering to all consumers in society and not deprive the Indian consumer of experiencing the power of Mobile which is why you have plans catering to varying consumption needs.
In Vodafone Idea you can use the network for 28 days for Rs.24 only or buy an Unlimited voice plan with 1GB Data for Rs.119 for 28 days.
For consumers with moderate Voice usage you can buy an attractive pack of Rs.45 which offers FTT and a tariff of 1p/sec as well as provides 100 MB of data.
You could also experience the power of the Internet by buying 3GB data for Rs.49 only.
It is relevant to note that with some other operators, For low to medium usage voice customers, rates are higher and come with device restrictions – no such device restriction for VIL.
It seems like the consultative process is being challenged and is potentially drawing attention away from the real issue that the industry is in deep financial stress, a fact that’s now widely acknowledged.
Bringing up the IUC matter seems like an attempt to distract from the need for urgent action to address financial stress in the sector and ensure adequate competition exists to serve Indian citizens.