Telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have announced the extension of prepaid account validity till May 3. Notably, the Indian government extended the lockdown in the country to May 3 as Coronavirus cases started to spike. Earlier, both Airtel and Vodafone Idea offered Rs 10 talk time and prepaid account validity extension till April 17. But with the new lockdown period in place, both the telcos are extending the account validity of prepaid users at no extra cost. While Vodafone Idea says that this move is applicable to its 90 million low-income feature phone users, Airtel just said that the company would extend the account valid to low-income customers.
Bharti Airtel Offers Free Incoming Calling Facility to Low-Income Users
As you might be aware of already, private telcos have a minimum recharge policy in place as part of which a user will stop receiving incoming voice calls after seven days of current plan expiry. In a new press release, Airtel stated that close to 30 million subscribers are unable to recharge their mobile numbers during this lockdown period. So to assist such customers, the company is extending the prepaid account validity till May 3, 2020. This essentially means the customers will still be able to receive incoming voice calls despite not having an active recharge plan.
"All these customers will now be able to receive incoming calls on their Airtel mobile numbers even after the validity of their plan is exhausted," said Bharti Airtel in a press statement. For the unaware, the second phase of lockdown ends on May 3, 2020.
Vodafone Idea to Offer Free Incoming Calling Facility to 90 Million Users
During the first phase of lockdown, telecom operators even provided Rs 10 talk time benefit to the prepaid users alongside extending account validity at no extra cost till April 17, 2020. Today, Vodafone Idea Limited announced the extension of incoming services to its 90 million low-income prepaid customers using feature phones till May 3, 2020.
The telco further added that the incoming validity extension is being credited in the accounts of all eligible customers. "With this special initiative for low-income feature phone users, Vodafone Idea customers can now continue to remain fully connected with their dear ones and access relevant, latest updates from local authorities," said the telco in a press release.
Earlier, Trai had asked telecom operators and COAI to extend the free incoming calling facility for phase two of lockdown.