The Delhi High Court (HC) has stayed the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal’s (TDSAT) order which stopped the telecom regulator from taking any coercive action against Vodafone Idea (Vi) for not allowing certain customers to port out to other networks. Earlier, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had asked all the telecom operators to allow customers using prepaid without SMS benefits to port out as well.
The telcos were offering expensive prepaid plans with SMS benefits, and right at the top, with the most expensive base, prepaid plan with SMS benefits was Vodafone Idea.
TDSAT Had Stayed TRAI’s Order on Vodafone Idea’s Appeal
Back in December, Vodafone Idea had appealed to TDSAT against the TRAI order on Mobile Number Portability (MNP), following which TDSAT had stayed TRAI’s order. But then, TRAI took the case to Delhi HC where the high court has stayed TDSAT’s order, reports ET Telecom.
Right now, Vodafone Idea users need to at least recharge with Rs 155 if they want SMS benefits with their plan. With Jio and Airtel, this is Rs 119 and Rs 99. Reliance Jio had earlier complained that such expensive SMS bundled plans are taking away the power of low-end recharge users to port out to other networks.
Vodafone Idea doesn’t want users to port out of its networks. It already has the lowest subscriber market share and doesn’t want to lose further. Jio at the same time wants to reach the 500 million subscriber mark as soon as possible. Thus, when customers are not able to port out of Vodafone Idea, it is hurting Jio’s business as well. Vodafone Idea is the only operator that is going against the TRAI order which only looks after consumers. The telco’s situation is understandable, but handicapping customers from porting out is something that’s unfair and not just Vodafone Idea, but every telco needs to remember this.