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No regulatory objection while Vodafone Idea offered premium plan for months: Airtel to TRAI

New Delhi: Airtel has vehemently defended its premium Platinum offering, saying it was launched with the understanding that the regulator does not have concerns over such a service as no objection had been raised on a similar plan by Vodafone Idea for eight-nine months, according to a document.

TRAI is currently probing Vodafone Idea's priority plan RedX and Bharti Airtel's Platinum offering to see if network preference to specific customers leads to deterioration of services for non-premium subscribers or violates norms.

The regulator had shot off questions to the two operators, asking them to explain their position on the controversial issue and provide relevant data to substantiate their claims.

In its presentation to regulator TRAI on August 10, Airtel said, it "launched the Platinum Offering with the bonafide understanding that TRAI does not have any issue or concern with such an offering as - no objection had been raised by TRAI while VIL had been offering similar plan for last 8-9 months".

Bharti said that Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) launched RedX plan in November 2019 and Airtel launched its Platinum plan on July 3, 2020.

Airtel said its offer was in complete compliance to TRAI's norms, and that nowhere did it promise or guarantee any minimum speed as the same is difficult to be ascertained in a wireless network.

PTI has seen a copy of the submission made by Airtel to TRAI.

Airtel did not respond to an e-mail query on the issue.

"Customer communication indicating 'Priority 4G Network' i.e. priority during scheduling on 4G network via network preference, is communicated in an unambiguous and transparent manner. The platinum plans are made available in a totally non-discriminatory manner to all the customers who want to subscribe to these plans," Airtel said in its submission.

No guaranteed speed has been promised to customer, it added.

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