Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) has asked the Reliance Jio to explain why it’s Happy New Year Offer is different from the welcome offer and why the extension of its free voice and data plan should not be seen as a violation of existing regulations requiring promotional offers to be limited to 90 days.

TRAI report the letter after Mukesh Ambani-led group announced free data and voice calling for new and existing customers under ‘Happy New Year Offer,’ days before the 90-day inaugural welcome offer ended on December 3.

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On December 20, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) submitted the letter which is in the process of examining the Reliance Jio’s new offer and also asked the company why the free data and voice calling offer under the promotional scheme shouldn’t be treated as “Predatory.” However, Reliance Jio didn’t respond on this issue.

Sources with direct knowledge of the development said the TRAI in its letter had quoted RJIL’s customer base went to 63 million as on December 18 to state that the company will become a significant market player in the broadband space shortly, may be this year end.

TRAI said that the preliminary analysis depends on factors like average subscriber additions per day and free data being offered. TRAI has also asked Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited to clarify why the offer of free data under the marketing offer should not be treated as greedy.”

Closed groups said that in a meeting with TRAI, Jio said that the latest ‘Happy New Year Offer’ is fundamentally different from the Jio Welcome Offer which was started on September 5. Initially, it has provided 4GB of free data per day and in the new offer the same was covered at 1GB under fair usage policy.

Also, they resist, in the first offer there was no option of renewal or payment after the 4GB limit was shattered, but in the new offer, you can recharge both data and promised speed.

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Regarding market control, Reliance Jio is six percent of the installations in the country whereas the Competition Commission of India (CCI) norms specify 30 percent threshold to trigger the ‘Misuse of Market Dominance’ clause.

TRAI has also asked Jio to give a projected month-wise estimation of the number of subscribers that are expected to be added till March 31, 2017. Jio has been given five days to clarify the issues upraised by the TRAI.


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