Indian cellco Vodafone Idea (Vi) has complained to sector watchdog the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that the 5G services offered by its rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) constitute predatory pricing, the Economic Times reports, citing officials aware of the matter. Vi claims that both providers are offering unlimited 5G services free of charge, thereby accelerating subscriber churn at Vi. Airtel and Jio have rejected the accusations on the basis that 5G subscriptions make up a small proportion of customers and that the 5G services are being offered as part of 4G packs and are charged accordingly.
In a separate development, meanwhile, the TRAI is reportedly set to issue a directive that will require cellcos to report 5G subscription figures. The regulator has also written to Vi for an update on the company’s 5G launch plans amidst concerns that the provider will not be able to satisfy its rollout obligations. After acquiring 5G spectrum in August last year the company’s financial difficulties have delayed the start of its network rollout, though a senior official claimed earlier this week that Vi would begin deploying 5G infrastructure ‘soon’.
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