Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) today asked TRAI to clarify whether newcomer Reliance Jio had informed the regulator as well subscribers about its two free offers — Welcome Offer and Happy New Offer — being “distinct” from one another. The telecom tribunal has given TRAI time till February 15 to submit clarification on various issues including “whether the service provider had informed TRAI that the offer B (Happy New Year offer) is distinct from offer A (Welcome Offer)…and filed with TRAI as per provisions”.
TDSAT also asked the telecom regulator to provide clarification on whether the provision of the two offers as well as their implementation was in accordance with Telecom Tariff Order and Telecom Consumers Protection Regulation. TRAI has also been asked to clarify whether Reliance Jio informed its subscribers that the two offers were different and whether they took the “subscriber’s consent”. Other issues include whether or not the offer constitutes a tariff plan, a special tariff voucher or something else.
TDSAT has fixed February 20 as the next date of hearing. Last week, TRAI gave a clean chit to Reliance Jio‘s free voice calling and data plan on its mobile services on the ground that the scheme is not a violation of the regulatory guidelines on promotional offers. TRAI had also stated that Jio’s Happy New Year Offer has not been found to be violative of the principles of non-discrimination, inter-connect rule compliance and non-predation. TRAI had further said that its examination had revealed that Happy New Year Offer launched by Reliance Jio on December 4, 2016 is distinct from its earlier Welcome Offer and could not be treated as an extension of earlier promotional offer as the benefits under both sets of promotional offers differ. ALSO READ: TDSAT asks TRAI to take a stand on Reliance Jio’s free offer in ‘reasonable time’
TRAI’s opinion came after TDSAT asked it to take a decision “within reasonable time” on Jio’s tariffs in the wake of petitions filed by Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular. Both the incumbent operators had approached the telecom dispute tribunal against TRAI for allowing Reliance Jio to continue free promotional offer beyond the stipulated 90 days. The two operators have now filed fresh appeals against TRAI’s latest decision that Jio’s free offers are not violation of existing regulations. ALSO READ: After Airtel, Idea approaches TDSAT to protest against TRAI’s approval of Jio promotional offer