While Reliance Jio may have been accused of violating the Telecom Tariff Order by offering free call services, it has been surrounded by speculations from different parties.
However, at such conjecture, the government has given a clean chit to Reliance Jio Infocomm by stating that the company did not violate any of the rules pertaining to free voice services.
The existing Telecon service providers had called upon the ministry by stating that Jio has violated the minimum tariff rules.
Despite the service providers' petition and responding to a query submitted to the Parliament by Odisha MP Tathagata Satpathy, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha acknowledged that the guidelines/NIA for allocation or auction of the spectrum did not prescribe the rates at which services were to be provided to the customers.
Hence, the question of violation of the guidelines for spectrum allocation did not arise. The Telecom minister gave his statement of opinion in tune with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which recently ruled that Reliance Jio had not violated any orders.
As such, the regulator stated that the tariff plans filed with TRAI could not be considered as IUC non-complaint, predatory and discriminatory. While in October, Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Telenor had complained to TRAI about the Reliance Jio's free voice and data packs.
There was a huge debate regarding the rates and that it was well below the market prices. Hence, they were predatory in nature and opposed the regulator's Telecom Tariff Order (TTO) of 2004.
On the contrary, the Telecom ministry has jolted out their opinion stating, the current tariff rates were based on the principles of forbearance. This allowed great flexibility to service providers to enable them to decide various tariff plans or products for different services.
The ministry also conveyed that the tariffs could, therefore, be offered by service providers to counter the competitive tariffs of their competitors or any other prevailing market conditions.
Making it more clearer, the Ministry said that, TRAI kept a close watch on the telecom tariffs being offered in the market and if required, it could intervene to ensure that the regulatory guidelines are met.
Nonetheless, the government giving a clean chit and Reliance Jio thwarting all accusations put up by its competitors, only means that people can likely hear the news about the imminent extension of free services till March 31, 2017.
Previously, it was said that the preview offer will be applicable only until December 31, 2016.