TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has asked telecom operators to extend the validity period of prepaid users to ensure that the subscribers get uninterrupted services during the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by the government.
The telecom regulator has also sought details of the steps being taken to ensure availability of uninterrupted telecom services to such customers on a "priority basis".
" ... 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.
Its communication on "measures regarding ensuring availablity of recharge vouchers and payment options for prepaid services" comes in the backdrop of 21-day lockdown imposed in the country to deal with the outbreak and spread of coronavirus pandemic.
"Though the telecommunication services have been considered as essential services and thus granted an exception from closing down ... However, lock down may adversely affect the working of customer service centres/point of sale locations," TRAI said.
"Under the circumstances, it is quite possible that those subscribers who wish to top up their prepaid balances or wish to extend subscription to a prepaid tariff using offline channels may face hardships and/or disruption of services," it added.