Vodafone Idea’s RedX premium and Bharti Airtel’s Platinum plans which were offering priority service and faster data speed to the users got blocked by the TRAI i.e. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. It is done because these plans were violating net neutrality norms.
On the 6th of July, an announcement was made by Bharti Airtel Limited about the launching of faster 4G data speeds for all its platinum customers and the post-paid customers who are paying Rs. 499 or more. Mr. Sunil Mittal who led the telecom major said that This has deployed advanced technologies for its Priority 4G Network. This will give the platinum subscribers of the network a preference on their network. Mr. Gopal Vittal, the CEO of Bharti Airtel sais in a conversation with the users that several new features have been launched that will make sure an uninterrupted work from home experience and this is good news for all those who are a part of Airtel Platinum. Now the users will be able to enjoy access to Preferential 4G Network that will translate into higher data speed.
The market was already enjoying Vodafone Idea’s RedX plan since 2019’s November month for its postpaid customers at a cost of Rs.999 that was offering special services and up to 50% faster speed. The company made some modifications to it in May 2020. A similar plan was soon going to be launched by Bharti Airtel. Bharti Airtel was asked by the telecom watchdog for an explanation within 7 days about how the company was launching such a similar plan that does not violate the rules of net neutrality.
The higher speed availability for premium customers will discriminate against the other users and that leads to the violation of net neutrality according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. A TRAI official said to a media house that “It is in violation of quality n service norms. It shortchanges the existing customers and it is also not clear that the new customers are being offered as the perimeters are not quantifiable.”
In response to such a non-favoring action by the TRAI, spokesperson od Bharti Airtel said that “We are passionate about delivering the best network and service experience to all our customers. This is why we have a relentless obsession to eliminate faults and ave been consistently recognized by international agencies as the best network in terms of speed, latency, and video experience. The spokesperson also mentioned that “At the same time, we want to keep raising the bar of our post-paid customers in terms of service and responsiveness. This is an ongoing effort at our end.”
A contrary statement was given by a senior telecom analyst, who said that the offer proposed by both the companies don’t violate any rules that are related to net neutrality as one can always offer better services with pricy subscriptions. Some Experts also say that both the plans can be seen as an effort to offer a widened base for high paying users to increase average revenue per user.