Vodafone-Idea vs Reliance Jio: Opposing Views on Phasing Out 2G and 3G Networks | – Times of India

Reliance Jio‘s recent request to the government to completely shut down 2G and 3G networks in the country to avoid unnecessary costs and migrate all customers to 4G and 5G networks has not gone down well with rival Vodafone-Idea. According to a report in Economic Times, Vodafone Idea (Vi) has opposed Reliance Jio’s recommendation and has said that such demands are “rhetoric in nature”. The company warned that any such move will impact feature-phone users and services offered through ATMs and PoS machines.
“We submit that such comments and demands are rhetoric in nature and ignore the severe impact on existing customers from a network shutdown through regulatory mandates,” Vi said in a counter response to Reliance Jio’s comments on a consultation paper for promoting 5G transformation, published by the regulator.
Vodafone Idea said that any such inorganic shutdown of 2G/3G networks through a regulatory mandate would also impact financial inclusion of rural and marginal consumers.
“We urge the Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) to disregard such rhetoric comments of sunset date for legacy technologies and do not recommend any regulatory mandate,” the operator said.
Incidentally, Jio, unlike Vi and Bharti Airtel, does not offer 2G/3G networks, and has already completed pan-India 5G rollout, to go with its 4G services.
However, both Reliance Jio and Vodafone-Idea agreed that the government should tap unused cash in the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) corpus to finance a handset subsidy scheme that could encourage millions of 2G users to also upgrade to 4G/5G services quickly.

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