Jio, Airtel India And Vodafone Engage in Full-Blown War on Twitter Over Reliance's 6 Paise Per Minute Charge, See Tweets
Airtel-Jio-Vodafone (Photo Credits: Twitter)

New Delhi, October 13: A telecom war between Reliance Jio and older operators - Airtel and Vodafone-Idea - erupted on Wednesday after the Mukesh Ambani-led Jio said it would charge 6 paise per minute for making calls to other networks, has turned ugly on Twitter. While Reliance Jio said the 6 paise charge is going in other operators' kitty as they were seeking Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC), Air India refuted the claim as "fake news".

Taking an apparent dig at Jio, Airtel India, in a Twitter post with #AbTohSahiChuno, wrote: "Unlimited calling means unlimited calling. No fine print. No hidden cost." It has also alleged that Jio’s decision to levy 6 paise per minute on voice calls to rival phone networks is geared to "force IUC to be brought down". Vodafone joined the chorus and assured its customers that they won't be charged for calls to other networks. BSNL Expects to Garner More Marketshare After Jio Move.

"Relax, there will be no charges on Vodafone calls to other networks. So keep enjoying what we promised you - truly free calls on Vodafone unlimited plans," Vodafone tweeted.

Airtel India, Vodafone Take Potshot at Reliance Jio's Decision to Charge 6 Paise:

Reliance Jio hit back at Airtel India and Vodafone, alleging that these operators were asking 6 paise charge as IUC. "Every time a Jio customer makes an outgoing call to the other operator's customer, 6 paise/minute is paid to the other operator as Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC), as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regulations," Jio said. "6 paise/minute - we ain't asking for it. They are," it tweeted apparently attacking Airtel India and Vodafone.

Jio Counters Airtel, Vodafone-Idea:

Subsequently, Airtel put out a clarification wherein it stated: "There is some fake news floating across social media about Airtel levying IUC charges on calls to other networks. We want to clarify that this all fake and baseless."

Airtel India Hits Back at Jio:

On account of taking a hit of Rs 13,500 crore due to network connection charges, or Interconnect Usage Charges, Reliance Jio on Wednesday said it would charge customers 6 paise per minute for voice calls made to rival networks till IUC charges were eliminated. It's the first time that Jio users will pay for voice calls, free since September 2016.

Last month, TRAI weighed the option of deferring date for scrapping IUC. It floated a fresh consultation paper to see if there is a need to revise the applicable date for scrapping IUC, given the continuing imbalance in inter-operator traffic. The paper also seeks to discuss what parameters should be looked at to decide on an alternate date, if any. When TRAI decided to scrap IUC, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had resisted the change, while Jio was in favour.