TRAI Supports Reliance Jio On Free Services, Attracting Rival’s Anger!

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    Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has given a clean chit to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio to keep continuing with its ‘Happy New Year Offer’ which allows the Jio Subscribers to use 1GB Free Data every day. So with 1GB of data now you can send 1.5 Million Whatsapp Messages or watch Youtube videos which will last for more than 5 hours.

    But the Reliance Jio’s competitors like Airtel, filed a petition with the Telecom Tribunal TDSAT on December 24, 2016 calling TRAI as a ‘mute spectator’ as it easily allowed Reliance Jio to continue its free offer beyond the prescribed 90 days period. Idea Cellular, which is an Aditya Birla Group Company also moved TDSAT on January 18, 2017 to stop Reliance Jio from continuing its ‘Happy New Year Offer’.

    On December 20, 2016 , TRAI asked Reliance Jio, why its Promotional Offer should not be termed as ‘predatory’. On which Jio replied that its Free Services Happy New Year Offer was different from the ‘Welcome Offer’, which was first started on Semptember 5 , 2016.

    TRAI also mentioned in the letter sent to the operators that , on examination, they have found Reliance Jio’s Happy New Year offer distinct from the earlier Welcome Offer and hence cannot be treated as an extension of the previous Promotional Offer. As the benefits under both the Promotional Offers has a difference.

    On that basis , Reliance Jio has been allowed to continue its Free Offer Services and according to that argument, Reliance Jio can tweak its offer till the March end and then continue to use it after the Happy New Year offer comes to an end.

    Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharti Enterprises & Owner of Airtel during the launch of Airtel Payments Bank in Delhi said that, “If there is anything free in the market , then the whole industry would be impacted.”

    TRAI

    File Image: Reliance Jio’s Chairman Mukesh Ambani.

    Hence , Airtel once used to be the largest telecom operator of the country has reported 55% drop in the net profits in its October to December Quarter. In the meanwhile, Reliance Jio had written to the Attorney General of India that it wants to seek a legal advice in this matter.

    Spokesperson of Reliance Jio said that, “We have written to the Attorney General of India about who are questioning our legality and what we are questioning is only the commercial viability of the Industry. A lot of damage has been done in this bargain and we are not going to sit on it.”

    ‘Price War’ has already created a room of fear among the employees in the Telecom Companies. An employee with one of the top 3 Telecom Operators said that, “If all this continue , then there will surely be loss of jobs!”

    The powerful entry of Reliance Jio has sent the entry Telecom Industry into tizzy and Vodafone has announced a merger with the Idea Cellular to protect itself against the biggie Reliance Jio. And it is rumoured that Airtel is in talks to acquire Norwegian Telecom Operator Telenor’s Local Business.

    It is reported that the Telecom Industry is burdened with heavy debt of Rs 3,85,000 Crore and with rolling of Free Services reduces the Operators ability to pay back the loans.

    So with this TRAI is not ready to compromise on this ground and said that ‘Happy New Year Offer is not a violation of the Regulatory Guidelines applied on the Promotional Offers!”