- The government-owned telco, BSNL, announced a free talktime offer of Rs 10 for its users who may run out of phone currency during the lockdown period.
- The move mainly comes in the backdrop of the 21-day lockdown period imposed throughout the country.
- The move also comes after TRAI urged telcos to increase validity on prepaid accounts.
Government-owned telco Bhartiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has announced two major offers for its prepaid users. The telco has decided to increase account validity till April 20, 2020.
It has also credited its users' talktime balance by Rs 10 at no additional cost. The move by the telco comes just a day after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) asked all telcos to increase validity in prepaid numbers.
"...you are required to take necessary steps as deemed fit including extending the validity period to ensure that all prepaid subscribers can enjoy uninterrupted services during the period of lockdown," TRAI said in a communication to all operators on Sunday.
BSNL urged its users to 'Go digital' using the 'MyBSNL' app, so that they can get through the lockdown phase without any hassles.
Users must note that the free talktime can only be availed by those subscribers whose balance has hit zero. If such is the case, only then the telco will grant its user a free talktime of Rs 10 with a validity that will go upto April 20, 2020.
This means, despite running out of currency, the user can benefit free talktime. Through this, the users can benefit incoming calls, which otherwise don't work if a BSNL user runs out of balance.
"During the video conference, took feedback on functioning of their essential services during #21daysLockdown from heads of circles of BSNL and India Post. Exhorted them to rise to the occasion and set new benchmarks in public service as #IndiaFightsCorona," Communication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote in a tweet.
"In view of hardships faced by the mobile subscribers whose validity has expired during the lockdown period from 22nd March 2020 and are not able to recharge for extension of validity, BSNL, as a support to its esteemed mobile subscribers is extending the validity of all such subscribers up to 20th April 2020, free of cost, so that the subscribers continue to receive incoming calls," BSNL said in a statement to PTI.
BSNL has brought in these developments amid the nationwide lockdown which PM Modi announced last week to contain the novel coronavirus. Even though telecom services fall under essential services and are thus exempted from closing down, "lock down may adversely affect the working of customer service centres/point of sale locations," TRAI noted.
While these developments were brought in by BSNL, Airtel, too came up with a complementary talktime of Rs 10 for 80 million of its subscribers with low income. Moreover, it extended its validity till April 17. This means there will be no interrupted incoming calls in this period of time.
Reliance Jio, came up with a free Jio Data Pack' which is valid till April 1. Under the data pack, users can benefit upto 2GB of high speed internet for free. However, when they run out of this limit, their speed will be reduced to 64Kpbs.However, users must note that no calling or SMSes fall under this pack.