TRAI asked Telcos to give extra validity and talk time during lockdown

TRAI asked all the Telecom Operators to take the necessary steps and ensure that all prepaid customers can enjoy uninterrupted telecom services during the shutdown period.

Main Highlights

  • TRAI requested all Telcos to give extra validity to prepaid customers
  • BSNL extended the validity of prepaid customers till 20th April 2020
  • A talk time of Rs. 10/- also credited to the accounts of prepaid customers

TRAI asked for uninterrupted telecom services

To outbreak COVID-19, there has been a 21-day lockdown period in India since March 24, 2020. In this lockdown period, good news received from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for prepaid customers.

To ensure uninterrupted voice and data services during the national lockdown, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) asked Bharati Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Reliance Jio to extend the validity of their prepaid customers.

According to the ET report, TRAI sent a letter to all telecom operators requesting to take the necessary steps and ensure that all prepaid customers can enjoy uninterrupted telecom services during the shutdown period. Further, the TRAI has also requested information on the measures taken to ensure the uninterrupted services are available for these customers.

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Telecom services are essential services

TRAI in its notification said that “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 centers/point of sale locations”.

21-day lockdown period has been ordered by Prime Minister

From 24th March 2020, Sh. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India ordered a 21-day lock-down in the whole country to outbreak the Coronavirus or COVID-19 infection, which has infected almost 1,200 people and kills more than 45 people. Amid this closure, thousands of daily wage employees, laborers with minimal resources returning to their hometowns from Delhi NCR and other Metro cities.

It is also mentioned that around 90% of the total of 800 million active subscribers of telecommunication operators are prepaid users. At this time, when the lockdown period is in progress, these people may have difficulties to recharging their prepaid mobile numbers.

In current circumstances, the regulator determined that there is a possibility of difficulties or interruption of services for certain people who want to recharge their prepaid accounts using offline networks. To facilitate people in this difficult time, TRAI asked all telecommunications operators to allow prepaid users to use their services without interruption.

RBI also requests banks to suspend monthly EMIs

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also announced earlier this week that banks can suspend monthly loan installments (EMI) for at least three months so that people can arrange sufficient funds in their accounts to pay the dues.

BSNL implemented TRAI’s request for its customers

The state-owned telecom company, BSNL, is the first telecom operator to implement TRAI’s request. Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Telecommunications of India, announced that the validity of any prepaid BSNL user will not end until April 20, 2020. In addition, a talk time of Rs 10 / – will also be credited to BSNL users who reach a zero balance in the period of lockdown. These facilities are giving to BSNL users to use in emergency situations.

Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad also called on private telecommunication operators to follow the BSNL during the lockdown period.

Conclusion

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