The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has asked telecom service providers including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and BSNL to extend the validity of prepaid plans amidst the Coronavirus lockdown in India.
TRAI has asked telcos to ensure uninterrupted voice and data services for all users by increasing prepaid plan validity. In a letter dated March 29 to telecom companies, the telecom authority asked companies to take every measure to allow prepaid subscribers to continue enjoying unlimited services during the period of lockdown.
TRAI has also asked for details from telecom providers on the measures they are taking to ensure service availability to customers on priority. More than 90 per cent of all subscribers in India use prepaid services. There are over 800 million active prepaid users.
“Though the telecommunication services have been considered as essential services and thus granted an exception from closing down. However, lockdown may adversely affect the working of customer service centres/point of sale locations,” TRAI said in a notification.
TRAI reasoned that because of the lockdown, subscribers who wish to top up their balances or wish to extend their plans may be unable to do so because of disruption in services. Extending validity until the lockdown lifts can help provide relief.