Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided to drop proceedings against Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) in the priority plan matter after the telco withdrew its claims on faster speed and modified its offering.
This move resolves the contentious priority plan issue, which saw TRAI initiating a probe into the telco’s claims of priority network and faster data speeds for premium customers.
Last month, the regulator had slapped a show cause notice on VIL over its priority mobile plan, saying the tariff offer lacked transparency and was ”misleading” and not in compliance with the regulatory framework.
TRAI, which had been probing VIL’s priority plan, had issued an elaborate 17-page notice to the telco on August 25 asking it to "show cause" by August 31.
The regulator also gave the telco time till September 4 to respond to its show cause notice on priority plan RedX.
Little after facing regulatory heat, VIL dropped its faster data speed claims which formed a prominent part of its pay-more-for-priority-treatment offering, and filed a revised plan with TRAI.
TRAI has now informed VIL that ”the authority has decided not to proceed with the investigation/ further inquiry”.
In Trai's letter, seen by PTI, the regulator noted that VIL has informed that the earlier RedX plan has been discontinued. It also informed a new tariff plan of RedX has been filed that excludes the claim of priority 4G network feature with faster speed.
”It has been further stated that VIL believes that the same would address the concerns of the authority and based on the same, VIL requested the authority to grant closure to the pending enquiry,” the regulator said closing the matter.
Earlier this month, VIL submitted a new RedX plan with Trai as it removed claims of faster data speeds – a major bone of contention.
The company’s website too had stopped touting claims of faster speeds for the RedX plan and instead spoke of benefits purely in terms of entertainment privileges (Netflix and Amazon Prime), travel privileges, mobility benefits and other privileges for the said offer.
Trai had been examining VIL’s priority plan RedX and Bharti Airtel Platinum offering to see if network preference to specific customers led to deterioration of services for other non-premium subscribers or violated any norms.
Bharti Airtel was not issued a show cause notice for its platinum plan. Airtel had withdrawn its platinum offering and offered to abide by TRAI’s views and hence the regulator did not proceed with further investigation on it.-- With inputs from PTI