The telecom tribunal on Thursday did not stay Reliance
Jio's free promotional offer but asked regulator Trai
to "re-examine" issues relating to the approval granted to the operator to continue with the freebies.
TDSAT last week had reserved the order on an interim appeal seeking a stay on Reliance
Jio's free offer after hearing all the parties concerned, including Trai, incumbent operators Bharti Airtel
and Idea Cellular, and newcomer Jio.
In its interim appeal, Airtel had sought a stay on Trai's approval to Jio
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 Jio
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 Trai
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, Trai
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 Jio
on December 4, 2016, is distinct from its earlier Jio
Welcome Offer and could not be treated as an extension of the promotional offer as the benefits under both differed.
announced that it will start charging for its mobile services from April 1.
Last month, Jio
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.