Vodafone India Moves Delhi High Court against TRAI’s Network Consultation Process

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On Monday, Telecom major Vodafone India told Delhi High Court that TRAI’s consultation process to frame policy for network testing before a full-fledged launch by a company was a “deliberate exercise” to overcome its plea against Reliance Jio (RJio).

Vodafone alleged that the TRAI’s (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) consultation process was to find solutions to the issues raised by it in the petition in the High Court, Vodafone presented its case before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva of the High Court.

The plea filed by Vodafone India stated that Reliance Jio had violated tariff orders by offering free voice calls.

On the other hand, TRAI said that Vodafone should take part in the consultative process, for which the last date for seeking comments is May 29 and for counter-comments, its June 12.

“The court, meanwhile, said what the TRAI does is not binding on it and listed Vodafone’s applications, challenging the consultation process and seeking an early hearing, for further consideration on May 15 when the main petition of the company is scheduled to be taken up,” the PTI report said.

In the consultation paper, the regulator has also sought views on a host of other issues including whether a telecom operator should be allowed to enroll subscribers as test users, restrictions on their numbers, period of use for trial service, criteria to differentiate between test phase and commercial launch.

Jio free trials of 4G services were stretched from December 28, 2015 to September 4, 2016. The company had over 15 Lakh users on its network before the commercial launch on September 5 last year.

Vodafone has also claimed that by giving free voice calls & continuing to do so as a promotional offer beyond a period of 90 days, RJio was violating norms and the TRAI’s tariff orders and regulations.

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Himani Sharma, From ITvoir News Desk

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