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Airtel to contest TRAI's fine of Rs 3050 crore
Airtel has countered the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) verdict to slap a fine of Rs 3050 crore on the major players in the telecom market.

This comes even though Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has declined to interfere in the verdict, stating that it is the issue related to individual members.

TRAI had slapped the fine on the telecom companies for violating the terms and conditions of their agreement with TRAI to provide interconnectivity to other players in the market. 

Recently, reports had been coming in that major telecom companies are not cooperating with Reliance Jio in providing interconnectivity to it. This has resulted in an increase in call drops made between Reliance Jio and other service providers.

"We are continuously augmenting the Points of Interconnects provided to Reliance Jio and the pace of augmentation has been the fastest ever done by us. Further, we are in full compliance with the requirements of Grade of Service set by TRAI," an Airtel spokesperson said.

Commenting on the development, COAI Director General Rajan Matthews said. "We are always disappointed whenever an industry member is fined. So it is the case right now as well." He also said that since TRAI had slapped the fines on individual companies, COAI will not interfere in the matter.

"It is an individual matter of the companies involved. TRAI had issued notices to these companies on the individual level," Matthews  added.

On not providing interconnectivity to Reliance, the TRAI had slapped a combined penalty of Rs 3,050 crore on Bharti Airtel (Rs 1,050 crore for 21 circles), Vodafone India (Rs 1,050 crore for 21 circles) and Idea Cellular (Rs 950 crore for 19 circles). 

They have been accused of violating license norms by denying adequate interconnection points to Reliance Jio Infocomm. TRAI has said that this seems to be an attempt to kill competition and that such policies are anti-consumer and against public interest.

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