The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has blocked the premium plans of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea that promises faster data speeds and other priority services, ET Telecom reports. According to the report, the telecom regulator in a near identical letters dated July 11 asked the two telecom operators to “withhold, with immediate effect and until further orders” the two plans. The regulator is said to have asked the two telecom operators to withhold the plans “to facilitate a detailed examination of both schemes.” The report said that the telecom regulator has highlighted that such schemes could lower the quality of mobile services for those users who haven’t opted for premium plans.
Trai Evaluates Whether Schemes Breach Net Neutrality Rules
Further, the report citing an unnamed Trai official said that the regulator is evaluating whether the schemes breach net neutrality rules. However, it was said that the letters said to the two telecom operators did not feature the net neutrality angle.
The decision from the regulator is said to have drawn a sharp reaction from Vodafone Idea with an senior unnamed official telling ET Telecom that the operator was “surprised” by the rapid decision.
Another senior Vodafone Idea executive is said to have told ET Telecom that “it’s shocking to receive a letter over the weekend, asking us to block our RedX plan without any opportunity to respond.” The executive at Vodafone Idea said that the decision from the regulator could lead to “inconvenience” to users.
An Airtel spokesperson said that the operator is “passionate about delivering the best network and service experience to all our customers.” With the Platinum plan, the Airtel spokesperson said that the company wants to “keep raising the bar” for its postpaid users “in terms of service and responsiveness.”
Vodafone Idea RedX Plan and Airtel Platinum Plans Offer Faster 4G Speeds
It has to be noted that Vodafone Idea RedX plan was introduced in November 2019 at a price of Rs 999 per month. The RedX plan promises “priority 4G network” that offers “unlimited data with faster data speeds” along with other benefits including airport lounge access, international roaming and one year subscription to Netflix.
In the second week of July, Bharti Airtel said that its postpaid users above Rs 499 plan will be designated as “Platinum” users with promise of “Priority 4G Network” delivering faster 4G speeds.