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Vodafone Idea, Airtel’s “premium 4G” plans allowed to continue for the moment

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The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal in a ruling dated Thursday stayed TRAI's order pausing Vodafone Idea and Airtel's "premium" 4G plans for subscribers who pay more. The TDSAT said that while TRAI was justified in seeking a review into how those plans worked, staying those plans was not required. The tribunal said in its order that after completing its review, TRAI was entitled to issue final orders "in accordance with law". This essentially entitles TRAI to file the same order again, but after it has completed its review of the plans, which it says could affect quality of service for regular 4G subscribers who don't pay as much as "premium" subscribers. Vodafone Idea and Airtel's Priority/Premium 4G plans are questionable at best, since cellular operators have always said that it's impossible to ensure a particular speed on wireless connections. If they are promising priority, what does that mean for other 4G subscribers, who have been getting access on a so-called "best efforts" basis? We have argued that these developments warrant a review of quality of service regulations in India, in both fixed line and wireless broadband. Read: Editorial: Time for TRAI to revisit broadband quality of service issues Jio complaint led to TRAI order Jio has filed an application to be a party in Vodafone Idea's appeal against TRAI's order. It emerged that Jio complained against Vodafone Idea and Airtel's premium plans on July 8, and this seems to be what led to TRAI's order against the plans. Vodafone…

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