India's leading telecom network provider Airtel is not happy with the delay by Reliance Jio in complying with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) order to withdraw its Summer Surprise offer.
After TRAI asked Jio to discontinue the offer last week, the operator agreed to comply and said it would withdraw the plan "as soon as possible operationally." However, Jio did not provide a date and the offer is likely to end on 15 April, as originally planned by the company.
With no effective change in the offer availability period, Jio, the newest network operator in India, gets the amount of time to attract new customers as originally envisaged by it.
Airtel is not happy with this situation. "We are surprised that Reliance Jio is openly continuing with its Summer Special offer despite the same being declared ab initio void by the TRAI," a Bharti Airtel spokesperson told the Economic Times. "In addition, Reliance Jio is running an aggressive campaign via social media and on-ground as well, encouraging customers and channel partners to subscribe and recharge under the scheme."
ET reported that many retailers in the metro cities had assumed that Sunday would be the last day of Jio's Summer Surprise offer, but there has been no official announcement from the operator.
"If there are loopholes (in TRAI's order), then it is for TRAI, as a vigilant regulator, to be aware of these and identify them and close the loopholes immediately," Cellular Operators Association of India's (COAI) director Rajan Mathews told ET. "Those who become aware of these loopholes, should, in turn, inform the regulatory authority, with the hope that it will then act to close these loopholes."
According to Jio, it has acquired over 72 million Prime customers who will be paying to use its phone and broadband service plans. Another few days of aggressive marketing might possibly give the company close to 100 million paid subscribers. Meanwhile, there is a petition on Change.org requesting TRAI to let the consumers enjoy the Internet at affordable prices. The petition has garnered over 95,000 signatures.