TRAI updates interconnection rules

6 Jul 2018

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued an amendment to interconnection regulations, setting out guidelines and procedures regarding interconnection capacity.

The Telecommunication Interconnection (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 states that a service provider may request additional ports at a point of interconnection (POI) if the expected utilisation of the POI over a sixty-day period is likely to be more than 85%. Projected utilisation of the capacity of the POI is to be determined based on the daily traffic during the busiest hour over the preceding sixty days. The provider can request sufficient ports to ensure that utilisation of the capacity of the POI is reduced to less than 75% within sixty days of the request. Meanwhile, the amendment extended the timeframe for operators to provide additional ports to 42 days. Finally, every service provider will now be required to deliver to its interconnecting service providers a forecast of ‘busy-hour’ outgoing traffic for the following six months at each POI – the first are to be sent within sixty days of the amendment coming into force, and thereafter on 1 April and 1 October every year.

Interconnection became a major a point of contention between incumbents and newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) following the latter’s launch in 2016. The new entrant claimed that its entrenched rivals were not providing sufficient points of interconnection, leading to call failures, whilst the incumbents accused Jio of flooding their network with a ‘tsunami’ of traffic through its free offerings.