Mar 16, 2017

Tribunal asks TRAI to re-examine Jio free offers, declines stay

BYPankaj Mishra

The telecom tribunal on Thursday asked the sector regulator to re-examine issues pertaining to Reliance Jio’s free promotional offers. However, no stay was given on the offers.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) directed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to re-examine the issues and inform it within two weeks, according to sources.
The newcomer, Reliance Jio, had launched a free voice and data plan in September 2016 and had extended it till March 31, 2017.
Incumbent players Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular had lodged a complaint with the telecom tribunal against TRAI for letting Reliance Jio continue with promotional offers beyond 90 days.
However, the tribunal did not order a stay, as was sought by the incumbent telecom operators. Last week, the tribunal had reserved its order on an appeal by the two operators.
Reliance Jio had launched the Welcome Offer on September 5, 2016, which was valid for 90 days with extended benefit till December 31, 2016. The Happy New Year offer was launched on December 4, 2016, which was valid till March 3 with extended benefit till March 31, 2017.
Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular had lodged complaints with TDSAT and Vodafone with the Delhi High Court against the promotional offers by Jio.
The TRAI was then asked to review the matter. The regulator took a month and sought the additional solicitor general’s opinion on the matter. After this, the TRAI said it had no problem with its original order, allowing Jio the promotional offers since the two offers being made by it were different.
The TDSAT was moved again by Airtel and Idea.

FactorDaily’s journalism is produced by some of the best brains in the story-telling business. If you like our body of work – deep reportage, domain specialist write-ups, data stories, podcasts and the like – consider supporting the FactorDaily journey.

Support FactorDaily

Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.