Telecom operator BSNL has officially announced that there will be no 'Blackout' days on its network in 2020. This is not the first time BSNL Is making this move as the telco entirely removed blackout days in 2019 and it is following the same this year as well. There is no update from private telcos in this regard; All the telecom operators removed blackout days in 2019 and we are expecting the same to stay in 2020 as well. For the unaware, on Blackout days, users will be charged the standard rates despite having a tariff plan. For example, on the New Year Day, a lot of mobile phone users send text messages and make voice calls to wish their closest people, so telcos take full advantage of these days by charging them the standard rates. However, over the last two years, this trend is dying slowly as operators are removing blackout days concept from the Indian telecom industry.
BSNL Becomes First Telco to Remove Blackout Days in 2020
Kicking things off in 2020, BSNL has now announced that there will not be any blackout days on its network this year. Basically, the trend of removing blackout days started with Reliance Jio; The Mukesh Ambani-owned telco did not have any blackout days ever since its inception in the Indian telecom market. And other operators were forced to follow the same.
In 2019, BSNL became the first operator to remove blackout days concept, which was soon followed by Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel. While BSNL made an official announcement for 2020 as well, there's no update from Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel yet. But most likely, the telcos will get rid of blackout days this year as well.
Blackout days concept has been in the Indian telecom market for years now. As part of this, telecom subscribers will be charged as part of their base plan on certain days, irrespective of whether they have an SMS pack or voice calling pack. The charges will be taken from the talk time balance. Nevertheless, there is nothing to worry about now. If you have an unlimited pack on your BSNL number, you can make voice calls up to 250 minutes on January 1 and send 100 SMSes for free (as part Trai's regulations). After 250 minutes, voice calls will be charged at standard rates, whereas you won't be able to send SMSes after the limit.
No Tariff Hike Noticed Yet on BSNL Network
Exactly a month ago, telecom operators- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio announced new tariff plans with increased prices. However, BSNL did not implement the latest tariff hike since the telco lacks 4G network to compete with the private operators. Besides Kerala circle, all the circles where BSNL is operating has the older plans itself. For instance, a BSNL mobile phone user can still get 3GB of daily data at just Rs 187 for 28 days. And the company even has some affordable yearly plans of Rs 1,699 and Rs 1,999, which ship with up to 3GB daily data and unlimited voice calling (capped at 250 minutes per day).
It will be interesting to see when BSNL comes up with a tariff hike. The telco reduced validity of various STVs/PVs in Kerala circle and the same could be implemented in other circles as well. BSNL is the only telco in the top five operators list to not have 4G network services in India at the moment.