Faced with regulatory heat on its controversial plan, Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) has dropped faster data speed claims, which formed a prominent part of its pay-more-for-priority-treatment offering, and has filed a revised plan with Trai, a source said.
The move assumes significance as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) late last month slapped a showcause notice on VIL over its priority mobile plan, saying the tariff offer lacked transparency, was "misleading" and not in compliance with regulatory framework.
The source told PTI that the company has now submitted a new RedX plan with Trai and claims of faster data speeds - a major bone of contention - has been done away with.
The company's website is also no longer touting claims of faster speeds for RedX plan, which had been under Trai's scanner over the past few weeks.
Instead, VIL's website is talking of benefits purely in terms of entertainment privileges (Netflix and Amazon Prime), travel privileges, mobility benefits and other privileges.
Earlier, its marketing campaign also mentioned: "get unlimited data with faster data speeds", for 'priority 4G network'.
In the new RedX plan, which has now been filed with Trai, the company has withdrawn the claim of "priority 4G network as compared to other Vodafone postpaid plans", the source added.
When contacted, VIL's spokesperson declined to comment on the issue.
The regulator, which had been probing Vodafone Idea priority plan, had, on August 25, issued a showcause notice asking the company "why appropriate action should not be initiated against it for violating the extant regulatory framework by its RedX tariff plan...".
In that showcause notice to VIL, Trai had said, "The RedX tariff offer lacks transparency and is misleading and not in compliance with regulatory principles of tariff assessment contained under the Telecom Tariff Order, 1999 as amended from time to time." The sector regulator had, at that point, also said it is of the view that the "claim of VIL for providing 'priority 4G network with faster data speeds' is not in compliance with the extant regulatory framework...".
The showcause notice had said the RedX tariff offer was in contravention of specific clauses of the Telecom Tariff Order relating to protection of interests of the consumers. Trai had been repeatedly asking VIL to substantiate the claims made in the said offer.
Earlier, while defending its priority plan, VIL had stated that the RedX plan, originally launched in November 2019, has 1.27 lakh subscribers.
Trai had been examining VIL's priority plan RedX and Bharti Airtel Platinum Offering to see if network preference to specific customers led to deterioration of services for other non-premium subscribers or violated any norms.
Bharti Airtel, however, was not issued a showcause notice for its platinum plan. Airtel had withdrawn its platinum offering and offered to abide by Trai's views and hence the regulator did not proceed with further investigation on it.