The good news is coming from telecoms Airtel, Vodafone Idea extends the validity of prepaid plans until May 3rd. Private telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea announced the extension of validity for prepaid phone accounts of low-income clients until May 3rd, later Trai evaluation into the math of validity expansion they had previously declared. Reliance Jio has extended a similar initiative for many customers who don’t recharge during this time.
Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), has announced the extension of incoming solutions for low-income feature phone prepaid customers till May 3rd when the nationwide lockdown to prevent Covid-19 spread will finish. Bharti Airtel announced a similar initiative to permit low-income customers for incoming calls on their Airtel phone numbers even after the validity of their strategy is exhausted till May 3rd. Jio has also established a JioPOS Lite app to incentivize readers to recharge for many others and earn a commission from it.
“Many of the customers have managed to recharge through numerous channels triggered by Airtel, including – ATMs, article Offices, grocery shops, and chemist stores, along with electronic channels. But close to 30 million, these customers have still not been able to recharge their prepaid mobile accounts,” said Airtel in an announcement.
Airtel, Vodafone Idea extends the validity
Earlier this week, telecom companies, including Jio, approached Trai over prepaid recharge routines, news agency PTI reported. More first, Trai had asked all the telcos to supply data on recharge patterns of prepaid users throughout the lockdown and other relevant information. Trai also requested details on the number of subscribers that have gained from validity extension and Talktime credit and amount of subscribers that were not able to recharge through the lockdown.
BSNL announced similar steps. The telcos also credited $10 Talktime to low-income/ feature phone customers. Reliance Jio had announced that it would give 100 minutes of calls and SMS free of cost for its JioPhone users. Besides, it has announced that their customers’ numbers won’t be suspended, even if they do not recharge their numbers.
Today, Avneesh Khosla, Marketing Director, Vodafone Idea, said, “To make sure that consumers remain connected during this elongated lockdown, we are extending the incoming support validity of 90 mn consumers till May 3rd. It would effectively mean that those users can use their telephones for getting incoming calls.”
On April 9th, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) noted that to ensure continuity of support to the taxpayers, that is in the bottom of the pyramid and are not in a position to recharge their prepaid services, member operators had supplied extended validity for the continuation of their services and discuss time gains to allow them to make essential calls.
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“The customers who required support from the telecom service providers for the continuation of their services in the first period of lockdown have been in the assortment of 80- 100 million whereas our member operators possess jointly extended the advantages for the continuation of solutions to around 280-300 million subscribers,” wrote COAI.
The value of these gains is more than $600 Crore, based on COAI estimates. Therefore, the expectation that the advantage is going to be extended farther, including to all the prepaid customers, who can recharge, isn’t appropriate.