The Delhi High court has stayed Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal’s (TDSAT’s) order which prevented the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from taking any coercive action against Vodafone Idea (Vi) for allowing subscribers with certain tariff plans to port out.

The High Court’s order came on the back of TDSAT’s December 2021 order, which had stayed TRAI’s  order which allowed subscribers to port out of their network from their service provider irrespective of their tariff plans.

TRAI had appealed against TDSAT’s December 2021 order to the Delhi HC. Vi (the appellant) and TRAI clashed when the latter on December 7, 2021 had ordered telcos to allow subscribers to be able to port out to another telecom operator, irrespective of their tariff plans. Thereafter, Vi went to TDSAT against the regulator’s order.

Earlier, Reliance Jio Infocomm had alleged that Vi and Bharti Airtel revised tariff plans barred users of low-end plans from porting out as their revised tariff regime did not offer SMS service in basic tariff plan and mobile number portability (MNP) requires subscribers to first send an SMS to their service operator through an active SMS plan. Upon the MNP request’s approval, a further process is initiated which may take three to five days for the user to move to a rival telco, while retaining the same number.