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No stay on Jio free offer; telecom tribunal asks Trai to re-examine issue

Appeal also sought to restrain Jio from providing its consumers with the zero tariff plan

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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The telecom tribunal on Thursday did not stay Jio's free promotional offer but asked regulator to "re-examine" issues relating to the approval granted to the operator to continue with the freebies.

The (TDSAT), in its order on Thursday, asked to apprise it of the "outcome and findings of the examination" within two weeks.

TDSAT last week had reserved the order on an interim appeal seeking a stay on Jio's free offer after hearing all the parties concerned, including Trai, incumbent operators and Idea Cellular, and newcomer

In its interim appeal, Airtel had sought a stay on Trai's approval to to continue with the free services. It had also sought a direction to the regulator to produce all the records related to its decision.

The appeal also sought to restrain from providing its consumers with the zero tariff plan and promotional plans.

had launched the inaugural free voice and data plan in September last year, and in December, extended the freebies till March 31, 2017.

Following this, the existing players such as Airtel and Idea moved the telecom tribunal against for letting the new operator continue the free promotional offer beyond the stipulated 90 days.

The operators criticised the regulator for being a "mute spectator" to the alleged violations.

On January 31, had held that Jio's free voice calling and data plan was not a violation of the regulatory guidelines.

had further said its examination had revealed that the 'Happy New Year Offer' launched by on December 4, 2016, is distinct from its earlier Welcome Offer and could not be treated as an extension of the promotional offer as the benefits under both differed.

Recently, announced that it will start charging for its mobile services from April 1.

Last month, said its existing subscribers and new customers who come on board by March 31 can continue to enjoy unlimited benefits of its Happy New Year Offer for one more year (till March 31, 2018) by paying a one-time fee of Rs 99 and thereafter Rs 303 a month.

First Published: Thu, March 16 2017. 13:35 IST