Telcos Offer Talk Time, Extend Validity For Feature Phone Users
All telecom operators in India are offering special benefits to feature phone users on their network.
The lockdown in the country has forced many people to pack their bags and walk towards their native places. This has been reported widely over the past few days, as daily wage earners struggle to meet their end.
But in order to keep them connected with their close ones, the TRAI on Sunday had asked telecom operators to extend prepaid validity period to ensure that subscribers get uninterrupted services during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
On Tuesday, these telcos have confirmed their offerings which is focusing on the feature phone userbase in the country.
We’re keen to see how the companies reach out such a specific userbase on their network, and provide them with emergency benefits during the lockdown.
Vodafone Idea Limited confirmed its plan to extend validity of prepaid users, who’re using feature phones, till 17 April 2020. This free of cost extension in plan validity will allow these users get incoming calls, even post the expiration of their validity.
In addition to this, users are also getting talk time credit of Rs 10 in their account , and VIL says this benefit will be rolled out to nearly 100 million feature phone customers on its network.
This validity extension and talk time is being credited in the accounts of all eligible customers, as fast as possible, over the coming days, the company mentioned in its statement.
Airtel is also offering similar benefits to other telcos, and has extended the prepaid pack validity for over 80 million feature phone users on its network till 17 April 2020.
“All these customers will continue to get incoming calls on their Airtel mobile numbers even after the validity of their plan is exhausted,” the company pointed out.
These users are also getting talk time credit worth Rs 10 which enables them to make calls or send SMS and stay connected. The program has been kicked off, and these benefits will be available to users in the next 48 hours, the company highlighted.
Jio is the latest telco to chip in with its set of benefits for users. However, since the company doesn’t cater to 2G/3G phone users, it is offering them to the JioPhone users, which has a market share of over 30 percent in the country’s feature phone segment.
Jio says even though most of its users make recharges online, “there are still some of them, who’re unable to recharge and need it the most.
So to help these users out, Jio is giving 100 minutes of voice calls and complimentary SMS till 17 April. They will also continue to receive incoming voice calls even after their validity is over.
BSNL and MTNL
The distressed public-owned telcos are also taking care of their users. Both have announced they will extend validity period of their prepaid mobile services till 20 April and offer Rs 10 additional talktime even after zero balance, to enable users, especially poor and underprivileged, to stay connected during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
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