Idea Cellular has moved telecom dispute tribunal, the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) allowing Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio to continue free promotional offer beyond stipulated 90 days. The country’s third largest telecom operator by subscriber base has on Wednesday filed a plea against the regulator for not taking action against Jio for violating the rules on promotional offers.
Idea’s bigger rival, Bharti Airtel, had last month approached the TDSAT on similar lines. Airtel had then said that the Trai has been a “mute spectator” while Jio has extended its promotional tariff order beyond the 90 days permitted by an order of the TRAI itself.
According to various media reports, Idea Cellular’s please has been clubbed with Airtel. The hearing on the matter is scheduled for February 1.
Both Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel have alleged that the Mukesh Ambani-led telecom operator should have discontinued its free voice and data offers by December 3. According to these incumbents, December 3 was the last day for the period of 90 days for which any operator may dole out a promotional offer which started September 5.
These telcos further alleged that the 4G entrant has continued to offer the free voice and data offer till March end, under the guise of a different nomenclature, Happy New Year.
Airtel had earlier alleged that violation of TRAI’s tariff orders has been continuing since March 2016, causing “significant prejudice and day-to-day loss” to it and “affecting its network” as it has bear asymmetric traffic due to free call offer by Jio.
Jio first launched an inaugural free voice and data plan beginning September 4 and in December last year month extended it till March 31. The telecom operator, which now has crossed over 72 million 4G subscribers, had previously said that it hasn’t violated any rules.