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Neelam Naik made post

Why has TRAI put a bar on selected services offered by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone?

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Priyanka N answered.
3 weeks ago

TRAI, the regulator for telecom sector in India, has blocked the premium plans proposed by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. These plans were designed to offer faster data speeds and priority services. TRAI has objected to these schemes saying that they would lower the quality of mobile services for subscribers who do not opt for such premium offerings.

TRAI is also evaluating whether the premium offers proposed by Bharti and Vodafone breach net neutrality rules. This was one of the reasons why similar proposals by Facebook had raised a major furore in India. It amounts to reserving a lane on a public data highway using public spectrum for exclusive use of wealthy customers, according to TRAI.

Both Airtel and Vodafone are exploring legal options but the writing on the wall appears to be quite clear. If the Facebook plan to offer preferential treatment to some customers was struck down on grounds of net neutrality, then the same logic would apply to these plans too. The government has been wary of exclusive access to spectrum in the past.