The 2017 edition of Telecom Wars has begun, and the start has been fantastic, to say the least. While Jio and Airtel are fighting over misleading advertisements, and TRAI has been summoned to take action; Idea has unleashed an agenda based war against Jio by using advertisements.
It seems that 2017 will witness the telecom wars based on advertisements.
Jio Wants Airtel To Be Slapped With Penalty
Jio, whose very existence till now (and till March, 2017) is based on free offers, is now afraid of Airtel offering the same. In a strongly worded letter sent to TRAI, Jio has alleged that Airtel’s advertisements regarding free Internet and voice calling is misleading, false and a gross violation of India’s telecom laws and regulation.
Jio has requested TRAI to “impose the highest penalty on Airtel”
Note here, that Airtel is already fighting a legal battle against Jio in the Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal, as they have challenged Jio’s move to extend free voice and data to March, 2017.
Hence, both Jio and Airtel are now offering free services, as well as fighting with the other because the other is also offering the same.
Airtel has refused to acknowledge this counter-move by Jio and have said, “All our tariff plans are fully compliant with the prevailing regulations,”
In the complaint, Jio has alleged that Airtel is promoting free calls and free data, but in reality, “Airtel has implemented a fair usage policy (FUP) of 300 minutes/day or 1,200 minutes/week, whichever is earlier, and post this fair usage, all calls are chargeable at Re0.30 per minute..”
TRAI hasn’t yet responded on this matter.
Idea Takes A Dig At Jio Over Freebies
Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, Idea Cellular has made fun of Jio over their free offers.
In their advertisement, two friends are in a car. While the car owner is parking it in a no-parking zone, the other friend is downloading a movie using Idea 4G service. As the car is being parked, the owner of the car comments on how fast Idea is, but also laments the fact that it is not free like this parking.
Which is, an obvious take on Jio.
Once they get out of the car, the car parked in the ‘free’ but no-parking zone is getting towed away. At this moment, the Idea user tells the car owner: “Free ki aadat mat dalo…isliye no freeG, Idea 4G,” (Don’t become dependent on habits of freebies. Hence, no FreeG, only Idea 4G)
Indirectly, the advertisement is warning all free users of Jio that once the free offer ends, it would be difficult for them, almost like your vehicle getting towed away.
Where Is Indian Telecom Heading To?
Airtel-Jio battle, and now fresh battle between Idea and Cellular signals several things. First of all, it is Jio against rest of all, because of obvious reasons. Airtel’s profits have already slowed down because of free offers by Jio, and now even Idea had to launch on-demand entertainment’s eco-system to counter Jio.
While competition is no doubt a good thing, but Jio’s free offers are threatening to dominate the market, and create a monopoly is which is not a good thing for a free market.
The real test would be once Jio’s free offer is over, and their users will have to pay for the services. The real brand loyalty would be visible after that."Jio Wants TRAI To Fine Airtel Over Misleading Ads, Idea Advt Takes A Dig At Jio Over Freebies",