India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (Trai) blocked Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea’s premium plans which promise faster data speeds and other priority services, reports ET Telecom. According to the report, the telecom regulator asked the two telecom operators to “withhold, with immediate effect and until further orders” the two plans in nearly identical letters dated 11 July. The regulator is said to have asked the two telecom operators to withhold the plans “to encourage a thorough review of both schemes.” The report said the telecom regulator has stressed that these schemes could reduce the quality of mobile services for those users who have not opted for premium services.
Trai assesses whether schemes are violating the laws of net neutrality
In addition, the article citing an unidentified Trai official said the regulator is investigating whether the schemes are in violation of the rules on net neutrality. It has been said, however, that the letters told the two telecom companies did not feature the viewpoint of net neutrality. The regulator’s decision is said to have drawn a sharp reaction from Vodafone Idea with a senior, unidentified official telling ET Telecom that the fast decision “surprised” the operator.
Another senior Vodafone Idea executive is said to have told ET Telecom that “receiving a letter over the weekend is surprising, asking us to block our RedX plan without any opportunity to reply.” Vodafone Idea executive said the regulator ‘s decision could lead to customers being “inconvenienced.”
An Airtel spokesman said the operator is “passionate about providing the best network and service experience to all of our customers.” With the Platinum package, the Airtel spokesman said the company aims to “keep raising the bar” in terms of quality and responsiveness for its postpaid users.
Vodafone Idea RedX Plan and Airtel Platinum Plans offer 4G Speeds Faster
It must be noted that the Vodafone Idea RedX plan was launched at a price of Rs 999 per month in November 2019. The RedX service offers “priority 4G network” providing “unlimited coverage and higher download rates” along with other advantages including connections to the airport lounge, international roaming and one-year Netflix subscriptions.
Bharti Airtel said in the second week of July that its postpaid subscribers above the Rs 499 plan would be branded as “Platinum” subscribers with a pledge of “Priority 4G Network” offering faster 4G speeds.