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Airtel, Vi say Jio’s allegations are in poor taste

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have rubbished Reliance Jio’s allegations about resorting to unethical ways of targetting their rival’s users and spreading frivolous rumors that the Mukesh Ambani-led carrier will gain from the farm bills.

“We have just been made aware through media about an outrageous complaint made to the TRAI by Reliance Jio against Airtel…this complaint relates to market activities in Punjab/ Haryana LSA (licence service area) that are purportedly encouraging customers to port to Airtel…we wish to emphatically deny this baseless charge,” Bharti Airtel said in a reply to the telecom regulator on Monday.

Airtel told the regulator that “Jio’s current complaint deserves to be dismissed and thrown out with the contempt that it deserves,” adding that “it is in poor taste and is scurrilous to say the least”.

Vi also refuted Jio’s charges.

“Vi believes in doing business with ethics. These are baseless allegations against us to malign our reputation. We strongly refute such irresponsible comments on us,” Vi said in its letter to Trai following Jio’s communication to the regulator.

Jio had written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to take strict action against Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) for resorting to unethical ways and spreading frivolous rumors about it gaining from farm bills.
Airtel, in its response to the regulator on Jio’s allegations, said that “despite being provoked by some competitors who we know will go to any length to make baseless allegations, adopt bullying tactics and use intimidatory behaviour, we have always conducted our business with character and transparency something that we are deeply proud of and known for”.

It added that Airtel had operated in the telecom industry for 25 years, during which it had competed hard in the market place and striven to serve customers with excellence. “At the same time, we take great pride in treating our competitors and partners with respect,” the telco added.

In a letter, dated December 11, to the sector regulator, Jio had blamed its nearest rivals for a vicious campaign, stating that “large number of port out requests, wherein the customers are citing this as the sole reason for porting out of Jio without having any complaints or other issues related to Jio services”.

Retailers in Faridabad , Bahadurgarh, Chandigarh, Firozpur and other parts of NCR and Punjab have seen an increase in customers porting out of Jio and joining either Vi or Airtel. Retailers have told ET that these areas are seeing farmers coming in droves and asking for a new SIM or filling up port out requests. Live World Today

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