Telecom regulator wants telcos to extend validity of all prepaid packs

NEW DELHI | KOLKATA: The telecom regulator needs telcos to increase the validity of all pay as you go packs until at the least May 3, the brand new finish date for the coronavirus-led lockdown, in order that subscribers who have to stroll right into a bodily retailer for a recharge don’t face disconnection.

Telecom service suppliers Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and state-run BSNL had earlier prolonged the pay as you go pack validity of their low-average income per consumer (ARPU) subscribers and talktime credit until as much as every week after April 14–the final day of the 21-day lockdown introduced final month. But no name has been taken on extending the advantages additional.

“It’s for them to come back ahead and announce extension of the affords for pay as you go prospects for the reason that lockdown interval is now prolonged,” a senior official on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) advised ET, referring to the telecom service suppliers.

On Tuesday, the federal government mentioned the stay-at-home order to curb the unfold of Covid-19 can be in place until May 3.

Rajan S Mathews, director-general of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) mentioned, “Operators will proceed to observe the scenario and resolve on acceptable means to fulfill the wants of consumers.”. The COAI represents Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea.

Airtel and VIL had prolonged the pre-paid pack validity and in addition given some talktime credit until April 17 for round 180 million of their mixed practically 600 million consumer base, whereas BSNL had prolonged these until April 20. Jio had provided 100 minutes of calls and 100-odd textual content messages without spending a dime for his or her round 90 million JioTelephone customers, additionally until April 17.

Trai needed the telcos to increase the affords to extra subscribers, however the three personal carriers, through COAI, pushed again, saying the federal government would want to compensate them for it from the USO Fund.

The regulator on Tuesday adopted up by writing to Airtel, Jio, VIL, BSNL and MTNL to supply an in depth break-up of the variety of pay as you go customers who ran out of stability on the eve of the preliminary 21-day lockdown and didn’t recharge on their very own until midnight of April 13. It has additionally requested them to point what proportion of their respective pay as you go consumer bases these prospects made up on March 24 midnight – the eve of the preliminary lockdown.

In similar letters to all 5 telcos, Trai additionally sought particulars of the variety of pay as you go customers who got a talktime credit score of Rs 10 (or extra) to make sure steady connectively throughout the preliminary lockdown. It has additionally sought particulars of what proportion of the whole pay as you go consumer base these prospects made up for every telco on March 24. ET has seen a duplicate of those letters.

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