Voda Idea removes Priority 4G Network feature in RedX plan to avoid Trai ban

Over the past two months, Trai has been examining if Vi’s RedX plan degrades the quality of services for the telco’s other users on non-premium tariff offers. Last month, Trai asked Vi why it shouldn’t ban the RedX plan that appeared to make false...

Kolkata: Vodafone Idea (Vi) appears to have removed the contentious “Priority 4G network feature” that offered faster data speeds in the RedX postpaid plan, apparently to avert a potential ban of its premium tariff offer by the sector regulator.

Earlier, the RedX tariff offered “Priority 4G Network with faster data speed,” but according to the Vi website, this feature no longer seems available to RedX customers. The telco though is offering some priority customer services to RedX users along with special deals on Samsung devices with complimentary mobile insurance.

Back in November 2019, when RedX was originally launched, Vi had said customers opting for the premium plan would enjoy upto 50% faster data speeds than its other postpaid plans. Subsequently, RedX was tweaked in May 2020, offering the “Priority 4G network” feature with faster data speeds.


Vi didn’t immediately respond to ET’s queries and did not confirm if it had submitted a revised RedX tariff offer to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). Telcos, typically, have a 7-day window to file a new/revised plan with Trai after launching it in the market.

Over the past two months, Trai has been examining if Vi’s RedX plan degrades the quality of services for the telco’s other users on non-premium tariff offers.

Last month, Trai asked Vi why it shouldn’t ban the RedX plan that appeared to make false claims about offering faster data speeds and misleading consumers.
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The RedX stakes are big for Vi as it has almost 130,000 customers on the plan who might switch to rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio if the premium offer is banned by Trai.

It remains to be seen if the minimum six-month subscription span condition built into the plan offer helps Vi hold on to its RedX user base. Vi continues to state on its website that it will levy a flat Rs 3,000 (inclusive of taxes) as early exit charge if a RedX customer leaves the plan within 6 months of plan activation.

People aware of RedX matters say that if Vi files a revised RedX offer to Trai, withdrawing the Priority 4G network and faster data speeds elements, there won’t be a need for the regulator to ban the premium tariff plan.

Vi has responded to Trai’s recent show-cause notice on RedX, but people aware say the regulator is dissatisfied and maintains that the May 2020 version of the RedX plan falsely suggests that the Priority 4G network feature is available continuously when in reality it is applied only during short spans of network congestion so that RedX customers enjoy faster speeds and a better experience during peak hours and in crowded places.
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Trai officials have told ET previously that Vi must ideally clarify to RedX customers that the telco can’t guarantee faster data speeds if the plan is to continue. This is also since the regulator is opposed to the idea of telcos charging consumers a premium for faster data speeds and fragmenting the 4G information highway on a tariff-wise basis.
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