Indian 4G newcomer Reliance Jio was forced to drop its latest free special deal to subscribers enrolling in Prime membership after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) advised it to withdraw the three-month complimentary offer.
Jio said in a statement it accepts TRAI’s decision and is in the process of complying with the regulator’s advice, which will take a few days to implement. However, the operator said all customers who have subscribed to its Summer Surprise offer prior to its discontinuation will remain eligible for the offer.
Last week Jio extended the deadline for signing up to its Prime membership by a fortnight and also announced the summer special giving users an additional three months of free service.
In late February, when it announced it would begin to charge for data, Jio launched Prime membership, which costs INR99 ($1.48) and offers unlimited data and free voice for a year for INR303 a month. Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Jio parent Reliance Industries (pictured), said 72 million subscribers enrolled in Prime in just over five weeks.
In February the country’s largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel filed a complaint against Jio with the country’s competition regulator, accusing the new entrant of predatory pricing and abusing its dominant position. TRAI previously rejected petitions filed by Airtel and Idea Cellular questioning the validity of Jio’s extension of its free offer until end-March.