Was it fifteen minutes of fame for the telecom regulator? On April 7, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) officials were busy telling journalists in one-to-one interaction how they forced Reliance Jio to withdraw its free tariff plan ‘summer surprise offer.’ No wonder, TRAI made headlines in all newspapers.
Within four days, Jio announced a new tariff scheme offering three months of service for Rs 309. It is similar to the free plan that it was offering earlier. It will be interesting to know what action TRAI will now take.
It is not clear why TRAI ‘advised’ Jio to stop its free tariff plan ‘Summer Surprise Offer’ last week, as earlier it hadn’t found any problem with the company offering free services for 210 days. TRAI must have advised Reliance Jio to withdraw tariff on the basis of some basic guidelines. It will be interesting to know what the guidelines are. Why these guidelines were not applicable earlier? And how these guidelines will be applied now?
In advising Jio to stop Summer Surprise Offer, TRAI went against the established norms of issuing a press release or a directive. It is interesting to note that in February TRAI issued a directive to Videocon to ensure quality of service of its few lakh subscribers as it was in the process of closing down its operations. However, it didn’t issue any directive or press release on a much more serious matter to a pan India operator that claims to have acquired 72 million subscribers.
Please read the following stories for perspective
Reliance Jio’s claim of withdrawing 90 day free offer on TRAI’s intervention raises more questions than answers
Advantage Reliance Jio: Telecom Regulator’s recent decisions are against the spirit of TRAI Act
Reliance Jio effect: How TRAI decisions in last one year helped new Operator