TRAI Asks Airtel, Vodafone Idea To Hold Priority Plans Promising Faster Speeds
Birds sit on cables connected to a mobile phone telecommunications tower in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

TRAI Asks Airtel, Vodafone Idea To Hold Priority Plans Promising Faster Speeds


The telecom regulator has asked Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. to put on hold plans that promised faster speeds to certain priority users, as it questioned whether the network preference came at the cost of deterioration of services for other subscribers.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has written to the two operators questioning them about their individual plans that promised faster speeds to certain priority users. The regulator has asked if priority to high-paying customers in those specific plans came at the cost of service deterioration for other subscribers.

TRAI has also asked the operators how they plan to protect the interest of other general subscribers.

Airtel and Vodafone Idea have been asked to withhold the specific plans for the interim period, a source said.

When contacted, an Airtel spokesperson said "We are passionate about delivering the best network and service experience to all our customers."

“At the same time, we want to keep raising the bar for our post-paid customers in terms of service and responsiveness,” the Airtel spokesperson added.

The Bharti Airtel had announced last Monday that it would give preference to platinum mobile customers who pay Rs 499 and above per month for a postpaid connection. The platinum customers will get better 4G speed on the Airtel network compared to other customers.

The TRAI has given Airtel seven days to respond to its questions, a person privy to the development said.

In case of Vodafone Idea, the company had launched a postpaid plan, REDX, promising up to 50% faster data speeds, besides other benefits and privileges.

Asked about TRAI's latest move, a Vodafone Idea spokesperson said: "Vodafone RedX plan offers a range of benefits including unlimited data, calls, premium content, international roaming pack etc. for our valued postpaid customers who want more."

“VIL is committed to serve its customers with the best in class offerings and high speed 4G data across all markets,” the spokesperson said.

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