Trai Directs Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel to Not Disconnect Services Despite Minimum Balance

Follow Us

The Telecom Regulator Trai in its latest move has directed the telecom operators not to disconnect subscribers from their incoming and outgoing calls and other network services in case they have “sufficient” prepaid account balance. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had shown disappointment over telcos previously and had urged them to inform the subscribers well in advance, along with listing the available options before they are disconnected from the services. After receiving numerous complaints from the subscribers about how the telcos are pushing the customers to “mandatorily” recharge their accounts to keep their services running, the regulator showed its wraith over the telcos.


Telcos Directed to Not Resort to Disconnection

The subscribers had complained that these messages were being sent despite them having sufficient prepaid account balance. As per a PTI report, Trai Chairman RS Sharma said about this issue, "Tariff and plans are under forbearance, and we don't generally intervene. But if there is sufficient money in the account and despite that people are being told that the services will be disconnected, it is not correct.”

The Trai Chairman also added that the regulator had issued a directive which was sent out on Tuesday. Also, earlier this week Trai met with the telecom representatives to discuss the issue at hand. In the recent directive that was sent out to the telecom operators, the telecom regulatory authority remarked that the telcos should clearly mention to the subscribers when their services are going to be disconnected, and also, they should indicate how the subscribers can opt for alternative recharge plans or minimum recharge plans using their existing prepaid account balance. The regulator urged the operators to inform the subscribers about this information through SMS immediately and not later than 72 hours.

Trai had also outlined to the operators that "till such time, services of such customers who have balance in pre-paid accounts equal to minimum recharge amount, should not be discontinued".

What's the Actual Matter?

To recall, this struggle between the regulator and private telecom operators, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea emerged when the two decided to introduce minimum recharge plans for their subscribers to weed out low paying customers and to increase their average revenue per user. However, after the introduction of this service, many subscribers lodged complaints about the unfairness of this policy since a lot of subscribers were barred from receiving calls or making calls despite having sufficient prepaid account balance. The telecom operators have introduced minimum recharge plans of Rs 35, Rs 65 and Rs 95 which would avail the subscribers basic calling facilities and will keep them going.

Reported By


Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

Recent Comments

Faraz :

Yes, But some investment is better than none. Also as said by CEO, these funds and 18k crore FPO money…

Vodafone Idea Raises Rs 5400 Crore from Anchor Investors

Faraz :

IMO, Airtel only needs to buy sub GHz ( like B8/B5 ) to have atleast 10 MHz in that. &…

Airtel Hits 3 Million 5G Users Milestone in Mumbai

Faraz :

Yes I like your detailed reply. I have noticed same in Kolkata circle. Under many metro train station, Jio 4G…

Jio Leads Wireline Subscriber Addition in February 2024: TRAI

Faraz :

It's good that Airtel is sharing number of 5G customer circle by circle to attract new customer from that circle…

Bharti Airtel Surpasses 7.9 Million 5G Users Milestone in Andhra…

Santosh Kumar Pal WB :

Thank you Rupesh for good realistic long writing on Vi and BSNL.??

Vodafone Idea Raises Rs 5400 Crore from Anchor Investors

Load More
Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments