Update: 21st April 2020 – Following the announcement by Airtel and Vodafone IDEA, now BSNL and Reliance Jio have announced validity extension for prepaid users. Unlike Airtel which has increased validity only for limited number of users, Jio is extending incoming call validity for all users. Similarly, BSNL is extending prepaid pack validity till May 5th, 2020.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and nationwide lockdown, telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone Idea, BSNL, and Reliance Jio extended prepaid pack validity till April 17th, 2020. As the lockdown is extended further by the Indian Government, now, telecom operators Airtel and Vodafone Idea have announced validity extension.
Airtel says that close to 30 million users were not able to recharge their pre-paid accounts and to assist low-income users during this crisis, Airtel is extending the prepaid pack validity till May 3rd 2020. Similar to the first phase of validity extension, all these users will still be able to receive incoming calls even after the validity of their plan is exhausted.
Similarly, Vodafone Idea has extended the prepaid pack validity till May 3rd 2020, but only for feature phone users. They will still be able to receive incoming calls even after the validity of their plan is exhausted and this benefit would be credited to all eligible users in the coming days.
There is no word regarding validity extension from BSNL and Reliance Jio. But we can expect them to make a similar announcement soon.
Bharti Airtel in a statement said:
Keeping in mind their connectivity needs, Airtel is extending the validity of these accounts till May 3, 2020. All these customers will now be able to receive incoming calls on their Airtel mobile numbers even after the validity of their plan is exhausted.
This additional measure will help these low income customers to remain connected till the end of the second phase of lockdown i.e. May 3, 2020.
Commenting on this, Avneesh Khosla, Marketing Director, Vodafone Idea said:
Our endeavor is to ensure that all our customers remain connected at all times without worrying about any disruption, especially in these troubled times. In order to ensure that consumers stay connected during this extended lock down, we are extending the incoming service validity of 90 mn consumers till May 3rd. This would effectively mean that these consumers can use their phones for receiving incoming calls unhindered.