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TDSAT demands TRAI to re-examine Jio’s free offer, grants two weeks time for investigation

Earlier, the competing Telecom carriers, including Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular had asked TRAI to publish the permit criteria for the continuance of Jio’s ‘Happy New Year’ offer beyond the stipulated 90 days period. Delhi-based Airtel along with Idea Cellular had even pushed TDSAT to conclude Jio’s promotional offers and schemes with an immediate effect.

While Airtel urged the tribunal the last year, Idea joined the forces early in January. Till the last week, the interim appeal seeking a stay was retained by the tribunal but now seems to be looking into it.

Not only did the appeal asked for a stay but directed TRAI to generate all the necessary records related to the decision. The operators are now frustrated with the silence of the authorities and oblige a quick and straightforward response. Airtel even christened  TRAI ‘a mute spectator’ only demonstrating its inability to take decisions.

The Mukesh Ambani-run telecom provider, Jio advanced its zero-charge scheme initially under the ‘Welcome Offer’ on September 5. This service was to conclude by the end of 2016 which was however extended with a fresh marketing tactic named as ‘Jio Happy New Offer’ and extended another 90 days. The free voice and data services were stretched till the end of the financial year 2016, post which the company will monetize the service through Jio Prime.

In February, via a Live press conference Reliance Industries chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani dispensed details about the future of his massively popular telecom venture Jio. The latter launched the ‘Jio Prime membership programme‘ for existing 100 million users and new subscribers (signing up before March 31st) to enroll themselves under a yearly membership at a nominal fee of Rs.99. A  fee of Rs.303/month (introductory offer) has to be paid by the customers to enjoy free benefits for another 12 months.

The scheme will come effect into from April 1, which will also mark the entry of revenues into Jio’s treasure. To counter this pricing, established telecom networks– Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea have also come up with new packs and offers focussed on retaining loyal customers. While Airtel booked up a Rs 349 plan, Vodafone offered a Rs 346 plan. Similar to Jio, these plans provide unlimited calls and free data usage of 1GB/day to their customers.

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TDSAT demands TRAI to re-examine Jio’s free offer, grants two weeks time for investigation


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