Vodafone suspends interconnection with Aircel; TRAI consults on QoS for VoLTE

27 Feb 2018

Vodafone India has become the second cellco to suspend interconnection with beleaguered wireless provider Aircel over unpaid dues, the Economic Times writes, citing a senior official with direct knowledge of the matter. Vodafone has reportedly stopped most interconnect services across all circles, including for messaging and international calling, with interconnection for calls expected to follow suit. Idea Cellular suspended interconnection with Aircel earlier this month due to unpaid dues, estimated to be in the region of INR600 million (USD9.25 million). Aircel is expected to file for bankruptcy, with the operator struggling under a debt burden of around INR155 billion whilst its promoters have ceased providing funding. The operator is also reportedly considering offloading its asses, including subscribers and infrastructure. Aircel had previously been part of a planned three-way merger with Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited (SSTL), but the deal fell apart last year after prolonged delays in receiving the necessary approvals.

In related news, meanwhile, the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has published a consultation document on voice services over LTE, including VoLTE and Circuit Switched Fallback (CSFB). Specifically, the TRAI is looking at how to integrate such services into the existing regulatory framework for ensuring quality of service (QoS), and is requesting feedback on potential Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that could be measured and reported upon.