Both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) have been going back and forth with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for quite some time now. The issue that Trai has with the telcos is their ‘Priority 4G Network’ service. Trai had earlier asked Bharti Airtel that why didn’t the telco register its new priority service separately so that it could be examined further. Trai wrote to both Airtel and VIL, “As per information available in Trai as filed by you, no wireless plan is committing any differential broadband speed, (but) it’s seen that RedX and Platinum plans are not only providing priority on the network but also committing higher speed.”
Airtel Believes the Intimation Wasn’t Required
As per an ET Telecom report, Airtel has answered the queries of Trai. The telco said that the intimation wasn’t required since Airtel’s plan was no different from that of VIL’s REDX plan. Both the REDX Plan and Platinum service of Airtel are offering faster speeds to their postpaid customers.
Airtel said that their service is not a new type of offering in the market. Instead, they have just improvised on the plan which VIL had already been offering since November 2019. The telco also noted in its answer that their Platinum offering is in full compliance with the regulations and licensing condition of Trai. This is the reason Airtel did not see any point in informing the regulator about their Platinum offering separately as a new type of service.
The main concern of Trai at the moment is to protect the rights of the customers which are not in the Platinum offering or REDX offering from either of these telcos. Trai wants to check if the speeds offered to the regular customers of the telcos are reduced when in the same areas as that of premium customers.
Airtel also said that their Platinum customers account to 1%-1.5% of their total customer base. So there is no chance that higher speeds offered to them during the time of network congestion would result in any unfairness to the regular customers of the telco. This statement was further verified by the network checks and it came out to be true.