Reliance Jio has sought additional time till December 29 to respond to telecom regulator Trai’s query on why extension of its free voice and data plan should not be seen as violation of existing norms that requires promotional offers to be limited to 90 days.
Trai had written to Jio on December 20 asking it to explain within five days why the ‘Happy New Year offer’ should not be seen as “violation” of regulatory guidelines and also why the offer of free data under the promotional scheme should not be treated as “predatory”.
According to sources, Reliance Jio has now written to Trai seeking additional time up to December 29 to send in its responses. An e-mail sent to Reliance Jio did not elicit any response.
Last week, Trai – which is in the process of looking at Jio’s new promotional offer – had said that preliminary examination of the new offer filed with it “prima facie” revealed that except for minor changes in the quantum of data in the new offer, it seemed to be an extension of the old promotional offer beyond 90 days.
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Trai has also asked Jio to give an estimated month-wise projection of the number of subscribers that are expected to be added till March 31, 2017. In a meeting with Trai earlier this month, Jio has said that the latest Happy New Year offer is substantiatively different from the Jio Welcome Offer (that commenced on September 5) as in the initial offer it had provided 4GB of free data per day, and in the new offer the same was capped at 1GB under Fair Usage Policy.
Also, they contended, that in the first offer there was no option of renewal or payment after the 4GB limit was exhausted, but in the new offer, one can recharge both data and the promised speed.
In terms of market dominance, Reliance Jio is six per cent of the installations in the country whereas the Competition Commission of India (CCI) norms specify 30 per cent threshold to trigger the `misuse of market dominance’ clause.