The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked Airtel and Vodafone Idea to suspend their premium plans that promised faster speed to a specified priority user-base for the interim period. This comes in as it questioned the network’s preference for upgrading services for a specified few by deteriorating services for its other subscribers.
The TRAI (1) wrote down to two network operators, namely, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, and questioned them about their individual plans that promised faster speed to a specified prioritized group of individuals. The regulator further questioned if the priority given to high-paying customers in the particular plans came at the cost of deterioration of services for other subscribers.
It asked both the operators how they were protecting the needs and interests of other general customers.
Premium plans with premium benefits being questioned
When contacted, Airtel spokesperson responded that they were passionate about delivering the best network & service experience to all of their customers. The spokesperson added that Airtel has been relentlessly working to eliminate faults and has consistently been recognized by international agencies as the best network when it comes to speed, latency & video experience.
Airtel has been given seven days to respond to the questions.
Last week, Airtel announced that it would be giving preference to its platinum mobile customers who pay Rs 499+ per month for a postpaid connection on its 4G network. The platinum customers will be getting a higher speed on its 4G network as compared to its other customers.
Vodafone Idea, on the other hand, launched a postpaid plan called REDX that promises up to two times faster internet speed in addition to other benefits and privileges, including unlimited calls, data, premium content, international roaming pack, etc.
Vodafone, on the other hand, was taken aback when they saw TRAI’s letter asking to suspend their premium services. A VIL source stated that the company was in the view that there was no violation of tariff regulation on its plan.