March 17, 2017

TDSAT Asks TRAI To Re-Examine Jio's Freebie-Related Issues

Jio Digital

On March 16, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT - tribunal established for adjudicating disputes and disposing of appeals with a view to protect the interests of service providers and consumers of the telecom sector and to promote and ensure orderly growth of the sector) did not stay Reliance Jio’s free promotional offer, but asked TRAI to “re-examine” issues relating to the approval granted to the operator to continue with the freebies.

TDSAT asked TRAI (regulator of the telecommunications sector in India) to apprise it of the “outcome and findings of the examination” within two weeks.

Earlier, TDSAT had reserved the order on an interim appeal seeking a stay on Reliance Jio’s free offer after hearing all parties concerned, including TRAI, telecommunications services company Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular, and Jio. Airtel, in its interim appeal, had sought a stay on TRAI’s approval to Jio to continue with free services and also sought a direction to TRAI to produce all records related to its decision.

The appeal sought to restrain Jio from providing its consumers the zero tariff plan and promotional plans.

Considering these issues, Jio recently announced that it will start charging for its mobile services from April 1. Jio said that its existing subscribers and new customers who come on board by March 31 can continue to enjoy unlimited benefits of its Happy New Year Offer for one more year (i.e., till March 31, 2018) by paying a one-time fee of Rs 99 and thereafter Rs 303 per month.

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