Airtel withdraws dedicated WhatsApp data plans to comply with new TRAI guidelines

In the latest development, Airtel removed its dedicated WhatsApp data plans for 2G and 3G users. The reason is to comply with the recent regulation by the Indian telecom regulator on differential pricing and net neutrality rules. Recently, Telenor also withdrew its WhatsApp data packs on similar grounds.


Airtel launched dedicated WhatsApp data plans two years ago. It offered 200MB of WhatsApp usage for one month starting at Rs 36, with varied rates as per circles. This action comes as a surprise move, When Hike Messenger IM app which is a JV between Bharti Enterprises and Softbank, which locked horns with other OTT players.

In a major win for net neutrality in the country, Indian telecom regulator TRAI has ruled against discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content. The telecom regulator announced a penalty of Rs 50,000/day, capped at Rs 50 lakh, will be levied on service providers breaching the rule. This has paved a way for the end of WhatsApp/Facebook data packs offered by telecom service providers. TRAI has presented service providers with a six-month grace period to comply with the new rules.

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10 Comments on "Airtel withdraws dedicated WhatsApp data plans to comply with new TRAI guidelines"


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February 29, 2016 7:01 am 7:01 AM

Thanks to TRAI & public, these money sucking plans are being withdrawn 🙂

February 28, 2016 11:37 pm 11:37 PM
I don’t get it why people confuse hike as airtel’s IM app. Hike is developed by son of airtel owner and bharti has a very small funding in hike , rest come from softbank nd tiger global . have u ever seen any dedicated airtel pack for hike? Infact hike was one to support voip call whereas airtel didn’t wanted it. Have you ever seen any ad where airtel backs hike? U must get to see so many ads of wynk music wynk movie nd games but not a single ad for hike backed by airtel. Pls author and every… Read more »
Jyotirmoy Manna
February 29, 2016 7:34 pm 7:34 PM


Madhan Kumar
February 29, 2016 9:35 am 9:35 AM

Whatever we won’t ever use Hike & stick only to WatsApp just because WatsApp is very popular and every one use it & most of them all it’s created by Airtel-Vittal’s son.You never no what criminal-future looting Ideas these corporate guys have in their minds be it Son or father so it’s entirely better to avoid their products…

February 28, 2016 6:27 pm 6:27 PM

Even Re.1 facebook night plan (250MB 00am-6am) is no more available.