NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on Friday granted Vodafone Idea Ltd an interim relief in the premium plan case, allowing the telecom company to onboard new customers. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had put on hold Vodafone Idea’s RedX premium plan for high-paying postpaid customers. Trai’s decision was challenged by Vodafone Idea.This also comes as a breather for Bharti Airtel, which had launched its Platinum plan last week for postpaid users that was also put on hold by Trai on 11 July along with Vodafone Idea’s RedX plan.The appellate tribunal on Tuesday had refused to stay a Trai order stopping Vodafone Idea from taking onboard new customers under its RedX scheme offering faster data speeds and priority services to some postpaid users.
On the same day, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd asked TDSAT to be made a party in the case. Mint had reported that Jio’s application to the appellate tribunal contended that it will be impacted by the outcome of the case and hence wants to be impleaded in the proceedings.It had emerged the Trai’s order barring both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel from offering differentiated products in 4G postpaid plans was passed following a complaint filed by Jio on 8 July. Jio alleged that Vodafone Idea’s RedX plan was discriminatory and misleading.In its complaint to Trai, Jio said the tariff plan would cause deterioration of the quality of service for one class of customers by providing priority to others and was premised on false and misleading claims being made to customers.
On Saturday, Trai put on hold Airtel and Vodafone Idea’s premium plans citing violation of service norms and the possibility of lower data speeds for those who have not opted for such schemes.Bharti Airtel Ltd on 6 July had announced faster 4G data speeds for all its platinum customers – postpaid users paying ₹499 or above. The Sunil Mittal-led telecom major had said it has deployed advanced technologies for its ‘Priority 4G Network’ that will give its platinum subscribers preference on the network.
Vodafone Idea had introduced its RedX plan in November for postpaid customers with a launch price of ₹999, offering up to 50% faster speeds and special services. The price of the plan was hiked by ₹100 in May.