The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has directed all the telecom operators to provide data on recharge patterns and other necessary information of prepaid users. Since the government of India has extended the lockdown period until May 03, 2020, Trai is creating a blueprint on how the prepaid benefits will be extended for subscribers which will cater to the needs of seamless connectivity in the lockdown period. Once, telecom operators finalise their part and forward the details to the regulator, Trai will create the structure which will facilitate extended benefits to millions of subscribers.
As per unknown sources of PTI, telecom operators are collecting and compiling data of subscribers who have already been benefitted by the extended prepaid validity and talk time credit. This information by telcos will aid Trai to create a plan for prepaid subscribers who have been missed out from the benefits in the first phase of the lockdown period. Also, it will ensure that every segment of subscribers is getting better network connection and benefits so that they can be connected with their loved ones in stressful times and ensure that second phase of lockdown is hassle-free.
Major telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio and BSNL extended the validity of their prepaid plans to ensure that people are connected with their loved ones. However, telcos extended the validity of prepaid plans of low-income subscribers who primarily belong to the category of migrant workers and daily wage earners. Also, telcos credited 10 Rs talk time credit in the account of subscribers so that they can easily call their family and closest ones. COAI who represents the telecom operators addressed Trai and argued that extended validity and talk time benefits could not be extended to all prepaid users as the telcos have already invested more than Rs 600 crore towards benefits in the first phase of lockdown period. Also, COAI urged the government to offer subsidies to telecom operators so they can provide uninterrupted benefits and services to subscribers in the lockdown period and ensure that peace is maintained.