The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on Friday stayed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI’s) earlier decision according to which telecom companies such as Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel were asked to halt their priority service tariff plans. TDSAT has directed TRAI to not discontinue the telcos’ premium plans and has asked TRAI to not pass final orders without giving a hearing to Vodafone Idea. Earlier, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio had complained against Vodafone-Idea and Bharti Airtel to put a restraint on marketing their premium plans. Reliance Jio had also filed a complaint with TDSAT. TRAI had also asked Vodafone-Idea to not offer its premium plan.
Why did Reliance Jio complain?
Vodafone-Idea launched its RedX plan last November and since then, Reliance Jio and Voda-Idea have been at loggerheads. Under this plan, customers were offered unlimited local and STD calls, unlimited data, up to 50% higher data speed and premier customer service. Moreover, Vodafone-Idea was also offering a Netflix subscription with its premium plan. As of June, about 1.27 lakh subscribers availed of the RedX plan. However, Reliance Jio called the plan discriminatory and moved to get the plan halted. On the other hand, Vodafone-Idea said that the complaint filed by Reliance Jio is vague.
Earlier, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on July 11 had asked both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel to block their plans saying it gives preferential network access to select customers. The telecom regulator had also asked the companies to explain within seven days as to how does the premium offering not affect quality of services of lower denomination plans. After TRAI’s directive, Vodafone-Idea had appealed in TDSAT.