Reliance Jio’s Happy New Year offer, which offers free Internet services to consumers, has sparked off a price war with other telecom operators. Though Airtel and Idea moved the telecom tribunal to stop Jio, little came out of it.
Here are six key developments in the issue:
Airtel attacks telecom regulator and Reliance Jio
The Sunil Mittal-promoted Bharti Airtel moved telecom tribunal TDSAT against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) over Reliance Jio’s extended offer of free Internet services beyond the stipulated period of 90 days. Airtel accused TRAI of being a “mute spectator” in the matter.
TDSAT intervenes, directs TRAI to arrive at early conclusion
Following this, the tribunal asked TRAI to arrive at a conclusion on the Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Jio within a “reasonable period of time”. The next hearing was due on February 1.
Idea joins battle against Jio
Idea Cellular, an Aditya Birla Group company, also filed a petition in TDSAT against TRAI to prevent Reliance Jio from extending its free Internet offer till March 31.
Telecom regulator denies ‘mute spectator’ accusation
TRAI chairman RS Sharma rejected Airtel’s accusations of being a mute spectator at a press conference in Noda, telling reporters that the telecom regulator “should not get stuck in a vendor locket”. He said that when a new technology (4G) and a new vendor (Reliance Jio) enter the market, the vendor tries to sell products in a way that makes users completely dependent.
The decision stays under wraps
TRAI said that it has taken a decision on Reliance Jio’s Happy New Year offer. However, the regulator did not divulge any details.
Reports suggest TRAI ruled in Jio’s favour
However, media reports suggest that TRAI has allowed Reliance Jio to continue its offer of free Internet until March. Telecom operators are yet to receive letters from TRAI on Reliance Jio’s compliance with regulations.