Telecom Tribunal TDSAT reserved its order on an interim appeal seeking a stay on Reliance Jio’s free promotional offer. The appeal sought to restrain the telecom operator Reliance Jio from providing its users the zero tariff plan and promotional offers.
Telecom tribunal Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate (TDSAT) today reserved its order on an interim appeal seeking a stay on Reliance Jio’s free promotional offer. The TDSAT committee reserved its order after hearing all the parties concerned including regulator TRAI, telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, and Reliance Jio.
In its provisional appeal, Airtel had sought a stay on regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) acceptance to Reliance Jio to continue with the free promotional offer. It had also pursued a direction to TRAI to produce all records related to the regulator’s decision.
The interim appeal also sought to restrain the telecom operator Reliance Jio from providing its users the zero tariff plan and promotional offers.
In September 2016, Reliance Jio launched an inaugural free voice and data plan and in December extended the freebies till March 31, 2017.
Following this, the telecom operators like Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel moved the telecom dispute TDSAT against TRAI for allowing the Reliance jio to continue free promotional offer beyond the stipulated 90 days. The operators charged the regulator of being a “mute spectator” to the suspected violations.
On January 31, 2017, TRAI had said that Reliance Jio’s free voice calling and data plan was not a violation of the regulatory guidelines on promotional offers.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had said that its inspection had revealed that the ‘Happy New Year Offer’ launched by Reliance Jio on December 4, 2016 is different from its earlier Jio Welcome Offer and could not be treated as an extension of the promotional offer as the benefits of both the offers are different.
TRAI’s opinion on the matter came after TDSAT asked it to take a decision “within a reasonable time” on Jio’s tariffs in the wake of appeals filed by the large telecom operators. From April 1, 2017, Reliance Jio is going to start charging for its mobile services.
Last month, Jio said that its existing users and new customers, who come on board by March 31, can avail unlimited benefits of its Happy New Year Offer for one more year till March 31, 2018, by paying one-time fee of Rs 99 and thereafter Rs 303 per month