Jio Test Users Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Use Commercial Services – Say Airtel And Vodafone

Acquiring Users Under Testing Phase Is Against License Conditions


Jio vs Vodafone vs Airtel small

Reliance Jio has proved to be the greatest disruptor in the history of Indian Telecom industry. Other telecom operators were caught napping when Jio announced their tariff plans.

At launch, users were being offered services at effective zero cost. Reliance roped in their employees and their family members to be the test users by giving away free SIM cards.

They commenced their commercial operations in India in September 2016. But, it had started test services for its employees in December 2015.

Since its commercial launch, Reliance Jio has managed to garner a subscriber base of 100 million as of February 2017, within 6 months of its launch.

Vodafone and Bharti Airtel, have raised the issue of Jio’s test subscribers at an open house discussion which happened yesterday.

Acquiring Users Under Testing Phase Is Against License Conditions

This is what Vodafone has to say in this matter. The executive vice president, policy and regulation, at Vodafone India, Sandeep Kathuria has reiterated the fact that TRAI had raised the issue of compliance with DoT over the five lakh SIM cards issued by Jio.

“When the issue of acquiring subscribers in the garb of test users was raised by Vodafone last year, the same was dismissed by TRAI. However, it is now being discussed as if there was no clarity on the subject,” said Mr. Kathuria.

Bharti Airtel’s chief regulatory officer, Ravi Gandhi raised objections regarding test users being allowed to migrate to commercial services.

“There should not be subscriber acquisition in the name of testing, and there should be a time-limit for a network trial service,” said Mr. Gandhi.

Reliance Jio’s Counter-Argument

Reliance Jio has taken the stance that, Jio being India’s first LTE-only network, it had to do extensive testing before rolling out services commercially to customers.

This was however refuted by Ravi Gandhi from Bharti Airtel, who highlighted the fact that Airtel was the first to launch 4G LTE services in India, back in 2012.

In Conclusion…

Since its launch, Jio has proved to be a juggernaut which has forced other telecom operators to lower their tariffs in order to compete with Jio’s offerings. Thanks to the Jio effect, Indian mobile users are enjoying some of the cheapest tariff rates in the world.

Just when things seemed to be settling down between Jio and other operators, this fresh salvo has re-ignited the feud which seems to be going nowhere in a hurry.

Yet again, TRAI is in the spotlight. It is going be interesting to see how TRAI responds to these latest demands without upsetting the subscribers who are in danger of being victimized in this latest battle for market share.

  1. Aniruddh says

    Reliance Jio is right actually. Jio is India’s first LTE-only network who started pan India network operations.
    Other hand Airtel just started LTE in one city. When Airtel has started pan India LTE operations?

  2. Sudar says

    Clearly states/shows the greed of Airtel, Vodafone

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

who's online