Reliance Jio’s free services for six long months has forced Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to implement a new paper on network testing ahead of the operator’s commercial launch of services. The consultation paper from TRAI is due to the criticism faced by telecom regulator when Jio came out with two promotional offers for 90 days.
Reliance Jio became paid just a couple of weeks ago, but before that the new entrant was providing free 4G services under the ‘Welcome Offer’ and ‘Happy New Year offer.’ Both the promotional plans have lasted for 90 days each (three months), making it a total of 180 days (six months).
During the testing phase, Jio has added 100 million subscribers in just 172 days, making it the fastest operator in achieving the milestone. Everything was going fine for Jio, but incumbent operators such as Airtel, Idea, and Vodafone have raised several questions in the meantime with TRAI for allowing Jio to provide extended promotional offers.
TRAI’s consultation paper read as follows “The DoT requested the Authority to provide its recommendations on testing of the network before the commercial launch of services including enrollment of customers for testing purposes before commercial launch, duration of the testing period, etc…”
“The consultation paper has been prepared to discuss issues involved, possible solutions and framework to bring clarity on the matter,” claims TRAI.
The telecom regulator in the paper also says that an operator needs to create a sample SIM card for testing the quality of service, which is a good initiative. This process is not meant for testing the network by issuing a SIM card to residents of the country.
”However, in 2016, a TSP (telecom service provider) carried out testing of its long-term evolution (LTE) network on a very large scale and enrolled lakhs of subscribers as test users before the commercial launch of its services…Some incumbent operators filed representations through their industry association expressing that this practice is unfair due…” read the consultation paper.
The industry majors can submit their comments on the consultation paper by May 29, 2017, and counter-comments by June 12, 2017.