According to industry sources, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is likely to direct Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel to stop offering unlimited data in their 5G tariff plans. The regulator’s move follows its examination of a recent complaint of predatory pricing against the two operators by Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi).
According to Vi, the two operators have significant market power and their 5G tariffs are predatory as they offer below-cost services. As per sources, TRAI, after examining the matter, is of the view that the tariffs cannot be termed predatory as they are not below cost. Further, offering 5G at 4G rates cannot be termed predatory. However, offering unlimited data as part of any plan is against the fair usage policy principle of tariff regulations, therefore the two should stop it.
A direction to this effect would mean that Jio and Airtel can continue with their data plans at 4G rates, but would have to reset the speed to lower limits if the data is consumed before the new billing cycle begins. TRAI has concluded that the principle of fair usage policy applies to 4G plans and should apply to 5G tariffs as well.