Vodafone Idea on Monday filed a petition in Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) challenging the directive from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on withholding its RedX plan. The development is on the heels of the Trai letter dated July 11 asking Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to stop the premium plans that promise faster data speeds to its users. According to a ET Telecom report, a Vodafone Idea executive said that “it’s shocking to receive a letter over the weekend, asking us to block our RedX plan without any opportunity to respond.”
Vodafone Idea Moves TDSAT Challenging Trai Directive on RedX Plan
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.
According to the TDSAT filing accessed by TelecomTalk, the case has a next listing date of July 14 for the purpose of preliminary hearing.
Vodafone Idea Users Could Face “Inconvenience” Due to Trai Directive
The Vodafone Idea executive is said to have told ETTelecom that the decision from the regulator could lead to “inconvenience” to users.
The 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.
According to the present telecom rules, the mandatory tariff protection for users enrolled in a plan applies to 180 days from the day of users signing up to a prepaid or postpaid plan. With the RedX plan currently available from November 2019, Vodafone Idea could be forced to shift several RedX users to other postpaid plans.
It is not clear if Bharti Airtel will follow suit in filing a petition in TDSAT over the Trai directive. Airtel unveiled its Platinum plans in the second week of July 2020 promising “Priority 4G Network” delivering faster 4G speeds. Unlike Vodafone Idea, Airtel said that its postpaid users on plans above Rs 499 will be designated as Platinum users.