TRAI Drops Probe Against Vodafone Idea On Priority Plan Issue
The Vodafone Idea logo is displayed on an employee’s lanyard at a store in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

TRAI Drops Probe Against Vodafone Idea On Priority Plan Issue

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has decided to drop proceedings against Vodafone Idea Ltd. in the priority plan matter after the telecom company withdrew contentious claims on faster speed and modified its offering.

The move brings down the curtains on the controversial priority plan issue, which saw TRAI initiating a probe into Vodafone Idea's claims of priority network and faster data speeds for premium customers.

Also read: Vodafone Wins Arbitration Against India In Retrospective Tax Case

Last month, the regulator had slapped a show-cause notice on the firm over its priority mobile plan, saying the tariff offer lacked transparency and was "misleading" and not in compliance with regulatory framework.

Faced with regulatory heat, Vodafone Idea recently dropped the faster data speed claims which formed a prominent part of its pay-more-for-priority-treatment offering and filed a revised plan with TRAI.

The regulator has now informed the company that "the authority has decided not to proceed with the investigation/further inquiry".

The TRAI letter, seen by PTI, noted that the operator has informed that the earlier RedX plan has been discontinued and that a new tariff plan of RedX, without the claim of priority 4G network feature with faster speed, has been filed.

"It has been further stated that VIL believes the same would address the concerns of the authority and based on the same, VIL requested the authority to grant closure to the pending enquiry," the regulator said.

TRAI had been examining Vodafone Idea's priority plan RedX and Bharti Airtel’s Platinum offering to see if network preference to specific customers led to deterioration of services for other non-premium subscribers or violated any norms.

Bharti Airtel, however, was not issued a show-cause notice for its platinum plan. Airtel had withdrawn its platinum offering and offered to abide by the regulator’s views and hence the regulator did not proceed with further investigation on it.

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