Trai to Quickly Evolve a Mechanism for Telcos Closing Operations to Return the Unused Balance

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman R S Sharma said the regulator is seriously looking to introduce a new mechanism for telcos who’re shutting down the services or operations to return the unused balance of prepaid customers. In recent times, there are a lot of small players who closed their operations or merged with other telecom top telecom operators, and Trai has also asked the operators to disclose the unused balance details.


Sharma mulls ways for companies closing the operations to return unused balance. One of the possibilities Trai looking is to credit the unused balance in the prepaid account to the customers Aadhaar-linked bank account via a Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) model.

“The mechanisms being weighed include such telcos crediting the unused amount to the Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of their consumers in a Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) type model,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman R S Sharma told PTI.

“We are very clear in our mind that we will find ways to ensure that customers get back their money. We will evolve a procedure and mechanism for doing that, and specific instructions will be issued in this regard quickly,” he added.

Sharma also stated that this is an essential step because the amount won’t be a small one as it “involves hundreds of crores”. He also asserted that the issue is certainly a customer one, and the regulator will make all the efforts to ensure that consumers in such situations do not get ‘shortchanged.’ The unused amount should be given back to the customer at any cost.

“We will find a way to ensure that customers… if there is a balance remaining with operators… that such balance comes back to the pre-paid consumers. Maybe we will try out something like DBT…It certainly can be done leveraging Aadhaar-linked bank accounts,” he said.

Furthermore, the regulator is considering to discuss the matter with specific telecom operators who’re closing the services for a detailed discussion on the matter. Trai will discuss with the operators on how can they get give back the unused balance to customers. R S Sharma also added, “Let the operators also come up with solutions.”

So far, telecom operators such as Reliance Communications and Aircel announced the shut down of operations. Trai asked RCom to submit the unused balance details of users who moved out of the network.

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5 Comments on "Trai to Quickly Evolve a Mechanism for Telcos Closing Operations to Return the Unused Balance"


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Deepak Kumar Vasudevan
December 21, 2017 11:56 am 11:56 AM

Similarly there should be an offer to transfer the balance between operators during MNP

December 21, 2017 10:59 am 10:59 AM

Merger= shutdown?? I have Telenor sim with 700 -750 balance. Now its unused bcz poor coverage. Also Telenor don’t support Playstore carrier billing… to use this left balance and port out.. it’s stuck.

Anyway to get it out??

December 21, 2017 11:16 am 11:16 AM

I have left with 19k balance in 2 telenor sims and no idea what to do?

December 21, 2017 1:44 pm 1:44 PM

You don’t need to worry. You can continue using services and your balance will be intact.

Proxima Midnight
December 21, 2017 11:15 am 11:15 AM

Telenor isn’t rcom