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In Reliance Jio, Airtel, Voda, Idea fight, real issue is where Trai ruling can be appealed

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Expect a battle of words when the telecom regulator, Trai, comes out, either today or later this week, with its regulations on the charges telcos pay one another when a subscriber calls from one network to the other—the Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC). While RJio has said incumbents like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have overcharged consumers Rs 1 lakh crore over the last five years on account of a high IUC, it has argued this cost could come down dramatically were the incumbents to have the kind of high-tech network it has. The incumbents, for their part, argue that what matters is that the total costs, including those for spectrum, are taken into account—in response to the RJio claim about its superior technology resulting in lower costs, AV Birla Group chairman KM Birla wrote to Trai last month to........

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