Jio complains to Indian regulator about ‘clandestine’ mobile broadband pricing

28 April 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

New Indian operator Reliance Jio is complaining to the country’s regulator that rivals are offering customers special tariffs by direct messaging.

Jio is telling the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) that this breaks its rules on transparency of tariffs.

According to India’s Economic Times newspaper, Jio says “some telcos are offering special tariff plans to select customers ‘under the garb of usage and retention’”. It has told Trai that making direct offers to customers through their mobile numbers is “in complete violation of the present regulatory framework”, according to the newspaper.

The Economic Times says that both Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular have defended their actions, saying existing regulations “are adequate”. All operators are “striving to attract customers through innovative offers”, Airtel told the newspaper.

Jio called the marketing offers “clandestine activities” that would confuse customers.

Trai began its consultation on pricing in February and the operators are responding to that consultation.