Airtel is yet again facing issues posed by some operators on Interconnect (IC), which has prompted the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRC) to write to them, according to a senior TRC official.
Interconnect is a set of legal rules, technical and operational arrangements between network operators that enable customers on one network to communicate with customers of another network.
“The operators have to comply and grant the necessary IC to Airtel and we will be writing to those operators who do not comply with this,” H.N. Jayaweera, acting Director General TRC told The Sunday Times FT.
He did not divulge who these operators were, but The Sunday Times FT reliably learns that the operators who have not complied are Suntel, Lanka Bell, Dialog GSM, Mobitel and Tigo. The others – Sri Lanka Telecom, Hutch and Dialog Broadband have granted IC to Airtel. “Airtel has to depend on existing operators to provide seamless interconnectivity between networks as the last lap in serving the customer.
The creation of adequate IC capacity, for this purpose, has been denied so far and this has now become the most critical block against bringing our service to the customers,” K. Srinivas, Executive Director, East, West 1 and Sri Lanka told The Sunday Times FT.
At a meeting with all operators held on Friday, February 13, the TRC had taken this matter up where Priyantha Kariyapperuma, Director General TRC had requested all operators to make sure that Airtel requests will be facilitated, but still the compliance seems to be slow, a TRC source said. The DG is out of the country at present.
Mr. Srinivas said IC capacity is not augmented during busy hours by the eight operators, except for Hutch and Dialog Broadband. "As per Telecommunications Act No: 25 of 1991, IC capacity has to be augmented without undue delay.
The key issue is when Airtel customers call other operators, they have to try for nearly five to 10 times to get through-especially during the busy hours, "he said.