The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has allowed a weeks’ time to Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) and Reliance Jio for responding to an application filed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

TRAI has sought limited changes in the appellate tribunal’s recent interim order, staying its July 11, 2020 move to suspend VIL’s premium RedX tariff plan. TRAI, in its application filed on July 23, 2020, had said the tribunal’s interim order suffers from a mistake as it had started enquiries on July 6, 2020 and not after Jio’s letter.

Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel has rejected TRAI’s concerns over its premium platinum tariff. According to the telcoit offers the service to only 1 per cent- 1.5 per cent of its user base, who account for less than 10 per cent of revenue and this will not affect service quality for the rest, a fact which has been validated by network checks.

Further, in its response to TRAI’s directive, the telco said that its platinum offer had been tested through pilots for eight months before being launched. The tests, it said, had revealed that with capacity expansion and other initiatives, Platinum customers assigned priority got faster speeds without impacting the experience of other Airtel customers. While the present offer gives faster speed to Platinum customers, it does not materially impact service quality of the remaining customers.

Further, Airtel said any attempt by TRAI to bar differentiated service offerings to customers based on data speeds would permanently impair 5G monetisation efforts and rob telcos of the flexibility to innovate.