Reliance Jio accuses Airtel of misleading advertisements

02 May 2017 | By Vijaya

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio launched a complain with the telecom regulator TRAI, against its fierce rival Bharti Airtel for violation of tariff rules.

Jio sought highest penalty for Airtel and accused them of issuing misleading advertisements and discriminating among its own customers who subscribed to the same plan.

The offers in question are Airtel's Rs. 293 and Rs. 449 plans.

In context: Reliance Jio vs Airtel face-off

01 May 2017Jio vs the others saga

After Jio's entry as telecom market disruptor which offered months of free services, they have been at continuous loggerheads with existing operators like Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea.

Older operators, forced to compete against free benefit plans, challenged Jio's extension of promotional offer beyond initial 90 days (1 Sep-31 Dec 2016) into early April 2017.

Jio suspended the offer after TRAI's order.

02 May 2017Reliance Jio accuses Airtel of misleading advertisements

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DetailsHow according to Jio is Airtel discriminating?

Jio alleged that Airtel's Rs. 293 and Rs. 449 plans are discriminatory and offer the headline benefits only to customers fulfilling dual criteria of 4G handset and 4G SIM.

Jio said that Airtel as per the offers, provides 1 GB/day for 70 days only to new customers with 4G handset holding a 4G compatible SIM while other customers get only 50MB for 35 days.

Rs. 293, Rs. 449 for new user segments

Airtel had launched the Rs. 293 and Rs. 449 recharge plans to compete with Jio in acquiring new users. For new users, Jio has Rs. 408 and Rs. 608 offers which provide 1GB and 2GB per day respectively for 84 days.

01 May 2017Airtel denies allegations

Rejecting Jio's allegations Airtel said that "they (allegations) are nothing but a continuance of Reliance Jio's standard ploy of blaming others for all its problems, including network deficiencies".

The Airtel spokesperson also pointed out how it was ironic of Jio which offered free services for many months, to point fingers at other operators for offering simple discounts to retain their own customers.

Previous standoff between the two involving ads

In March 2017, Jio took on Airtel whose ad claimed that they were the fastest network. The Ad regulator Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) decided in favor of Jio. Airtel had appealed the ruling.