A big sign of relief, as the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), has granted interim relief for the Indian telco Vodafone Idea on the premium plan case with telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). This allows the telco to restart onboarding new customers to its premium postpaid plan – Vodafone RedX. It would also allow Airtel to start onboarding new customers to its Platinum Postpaid plan.
Those who may have missed the previous action, TRAI has earlier blocked Vodafone Idea and Airtel’s premium mobile plans which offered preferential treatment like faster data speed and priority service. According to the telecom regulator, these plans are in violation of service norms. Also, there is a possibility of offering lower data speeds for those who have not opted for these plans. So the rich who can pay more can enjoy better 4G data speed.
It had emerged the TRAI’s order blocking Vodafone Idea and Airtel from offering preferential premium plans was passed within days following a complaint filed by Reliance Jio on 8th July.
Jio in its complaints to TRAI alleged that this preferential mobile plans from Vodafone Idea were discriminatory and misleading. It would also cause the lowering of the quality of service for one set of customers by providing priority service to others.
Jio has also asked TDSAT to be made a party in the case, as the telco would also be impacted by the outcome of the case.
Nevertheless, the initial win seems to be with Vodafone Idea. Now Vodafone Idea can onboard new customers to its Vodafone REDX postpaid plan. It would also allow Airtel who is still not a party in this case to onboard new customers to its newly launched Premium platinum postpaid mobile plan.