Bharti Airtel today announced the resumption of postpaid mobile services in Jammu & Kashmir. To recall, prepaid and postpaid mobile services were temporarily suspended in Jammu & Kashmir a few months ago. Now, following the guidelines of the authorities, telecom operators are resuming postpaid services, but still, prepaid services remain suspended till further orders. Furthermore, it's also confirmed that only voice calling and SMS services are being enabled in the state, and mobile internet will stay banned even now. Right after this announcement from authorities, Bharti Airtel posted on Twitter that it's waiving off postpaid plan rental charges for the service suspension phase for all the Airtel Thanks customers. Airtel says it's a special gesture towards the Jammu & Kashmir customers.
Airtel Postpaid Services Restored in Jammu & Kashmir
It has been 70 days since mobile phone services went off in Jammu & Kashmir, following the special status announcement from the Indian government. On October 12, authorities ordered the operators to restore postpaid mobile services in all the ten districts of Jammu & Kashmir. It's expected that postpaid mobile services are popular amongst the users who stay in the valley region and reportedly there are over 40 lakh postpaid users, significantly beating the 20 lakh prepaid users.
As noted, voice calling and SMS services will be restored in the ten districts, while mobile data services will remain barred for a little longer. Authorities will announce the resumption of mobile data services in the coming weeks or months, which even telecom operators are not aware of.
"Airtel has resumed postpaid mobile services in Jammu & Kashmir following the guidelines of the authorities. As a special gesture, Airtel is waiving off postpaid plan rental charges, for the service suspension phase, for #AirtelThanks customers," noted Bharti Airtel in its tweet posted earlier today.
Also, it's unknown when the authorities are looking to lift the ban on prepaid mobile services.
Other Telcos May Follow Bharti Airtel in the Coming Days
Even Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio are providing postpaid services in Jammu & Kashmir valley region and these telcos may follow the footsteps by waiving off the rental charges for the suspension phase. Postpaid connection has a monthly rental of a minimum of Rs 399 (for Airtel and Vodafone Idea) and Rs 199 for Reliance Jio, and if the customers fail to pay the bill on time, telcos disable the ability to make voice calls, SMSes and use the mobile internet.
Notably, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea are providing the same postpaid plans in all the 22 telecom circles. Airtel's postpaid plans start at Rs 499 and they go all the way up to Rs 1,599; Vodafone Idea's postpaid plans begin at Rs 499 and the costliest one is the Rs 1,299 RED plan. Reliance Jio has a single postpaid plan of Rs 199 that offers a customer 25GB of data and unlimited voice calls & SMSes for one month.
Both Airtel and Vodafone Idea are providing additional benefits like free three months of Netflix subscription, one-year of Amazon Prime membership at no extra cost, unlimited voice calls, up to 500GB of data and more benefits. In contrast, choosing a postpaid connection of a minimum Rs 499 will save a user costs of over Rs 2,000.