Trai allows Vodafone Idea till Sept 4 to reply to show cause notice on RedX plan

VIL, which introduced the plan last November, has much to lose if RedX is barred as it already has almost 130,000 users, who may switch to rivals, say experts. The telco though is expected to fight legally any ban on its plan.

KOLKATA: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has extended the deadline for Vodafone Idea to respond to its show cause notice on the telco’s RedX premium tariff plan to September 4, instead of the earlier August 31 deadline.

Last week, Trai had issued a show cause notice to VIL, asking why it shouldn’t ban the telco’s RedX plan that the sector regulator said appeared to be making false claims about offering faster data speeds and misleading consumers. VIL is learnt to have sought more time to respond.

“VIL has been given till September 4 to respond to our show cause notice,” a senior Trai official said.


At press time, VIL did not reply to ET’s query.

In the show cause notice, Trai had told VIL that its claim of offering faster data speeds to RedX users appeared bogus as the telco had been unable to prove that it is actually possible to offer the promised faster data speeds to RedX consumers.

Trai had also pointed out that VIL had not been transparent in its communications to customers about its inability to guarantee faster data speeds to RedX customers.
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Trai has been opposed to the idea of telcos charging consumers a premium for faster data speeds and fragmenting the 4G information highway on a tariff-wise basis.

VIL, which introduced the plan last November, has much to lose if RedX is barred as it already has almost 130,000 users, who may switch to rivals, say experts. The telco though is expected to fight legally any ban on its plan.

Trai recently sought more time from the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to conclude its ongoing inquiry into whether RedX and Platinum tariffs degraded the quality of services of VIL and Airtel users on other non-premium offers.

But Trai did not show cause Bharti Airtel after the Sunil Mittal-led telco tweaked its Platinum tariff plan by removing both the faster data speeds and priority network elements from the offer, and filed a revised plan with the regulator.
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