Indian regulator orders telcos to ensure uninterrupted services for prepaid customers during Covid19 lockdown

Published: 30 March 2020 - 12:34 p.m.

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked India’s big three telcos to extend their validity periods for prepaid customers to ensure a minimum of 21 days uninterrupted access, while the country remains on emergency lockdown in response to the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi put the country into emergency lockdown earlier this week, giving hundreds of millions of Indian workers just four hours’ notice of the impending measures.
Telcos are now scrambling to ensure that their networks can cope with the sharp spike in demand for capacity that the ensuing lockdown is sure to bring.

In an open letter to the country’s telcos, originally sited by The Economic Times of India, TRAI called on the country’s operators to ensure that prepaid customers were not left without access to reliable connectivity.

"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.

India will remain in a state of lockdown for the next 21 days, during which time hundreds of millions of Indian employees will be opting to work from home.

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