Days after the telecom regulator had asked Vodafone Idea to put on hold its RedX premium tariff plan, the telecom major on Monday filed an application in the telecom tribunal to challenge the order passed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on July 11.
Vodafone Idea has moved the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) as it was reportedly not happy with the order, which was passed in a hasty manner without giving the company any chance to respond on an important matter such as tariff. The telecom JV between UK's Vodafone Group Plc and India's Aditya Birla Group was of the view that there was no violation of tariff regulation on this plan.
In its July 11 order, the TRAI had asked Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to "withhold, with immediate effect and until further orders" their Platinum and RedX plans, respectively. The regulator had questioned them about their individual plans that promised faster speeds to certain priority users.
The TRAI has asked if priority to high-paying customers in those specific plans came at the cost of service deterioration for other subscribers. It has asked also the operators how they are protecting the interest of other general subscribers.
Slamming the TRAI's order, a Vodafone Idea source said on Sunday that the company was taken aback at the regulator's letter asking it to block the plan without any opportunity to respond on an important matter such as tariff.
The company source said that the RedX plan was filed with TRAI in November and further modifications to the plan were, once again, duly filed in May. The plan has been in the market for the last eight months and customers are already on-boarded.
Vodafone Idea had launched a postpaid plan, REDX, promising up to 50 per cent faster data speeds, besides other benefits and privileges. The plan was offering bundled international roaming services, unlimited data with superior data speeds (compared to its regular plans), premium customer service, access to airport lounges, exclusive deals on handsets, hotel bookings and other benefits. The company had said that It said that its customers would be able to avail international calls to the US and Canada at 50 paise per minute.
By Chitranjan Kumar with PTI inputs