Vodafone Idea may modify RedX plan by taking out faster data speeds to avoid Trai ban

“It appears Vi may withdraw the faster data speeds and priority network elements from RedX, in which case the question of Trai stopping the tariff plan won’t arise,” one person said.

Kolkata: Vodafone Idea (Vi) is likely to modify its RedX plan by taking out contentious features such as faster data speeds and priority network access to avoid a ban of its premium tariff offer by the regulator, people with direct knowledge of the matter told ET.

The telco may submit a revised RedX tariff plan to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for approval soon. The company appears to be emulating Bharti Airtel, which modified its Platinum tariff plan similarly.

“It appears Vi may withdraw the faster data speeds and priority network elements from RedX, in which case the question of Trai stopping the tariff plan won’t arise,” one person said.


Vi, which introduced the plan last November, has about 130,000 customers of the plan who could switch to rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio if it is banned, experts said.

Vi did not reply to ET’s queries.

Last month, Trai asked Vi why it shouldn’t ban the RedX plan that appeared to make false claims about offering faster data speeds and misleading consumers. Over the past two months, the regulator has examined if the RedX plan degrades the quality of services for other users on non-premium tariff offers.
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While Vi responded to the show-cause notice, people said the regulator remains dissatisfied and maintains that the RedX plan falsely suggests that the priority network feature is available continuously when in reality it is applied only during short spans of network congestion so that RedX customers enjoy faster speeds and a better experience during peak hours and in crowded places.

Trai officials told ET previously that Vi must ideally clarify to RedX customers that the telco cannot guarantee faster data speeds if the plan is to continue. This is also since the regulator is 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.

Vi said earlier that Trai’s concerns about RedX were not based on facts and that its premium plan users – not even 0.1% of its 4G user base – couldn’t hurt services for the others. It said the regulator had not stated earlier that the plan’s priority network feature flouted regulations. It also said Trai had raised the RedX issue some eight months after the plan was introduced only because Reliance Jio had complained.

Trai did not show-cause Airtel after the Sunil Mittal-led telco modified its Platinum plan by removing faster data speeds and priority network access and filed a revised plan with the regulator.
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