Updated at April 18, 2020:

As the lockdown being extended, Indian telcos are also extending their helping hand. BSNL has further extended validity of its subscribers till 5th May 2020. Also, you could continue getting incoming calls even if your plan has expired or had zero balance in your account.

On the other hand, Airtel too has extended free incoming call facility till 3rd May to subscribers whose validity packs have exhausted.


Our original story from Saturday, April 18, 2020, follows:

Running out of talk time or validity on your mobile connection? If you’re one of those who can’t find a way to recharge your mobile connection due to COVID-19 lockdown, then Indian telecom operators are here to help. Government-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and private telco Airtel has come with the much-needed relief to their customers. Both telcos now offer validity extension to their prepaid mobile customers. Also, they both offer free talk time to those needed to make urgent calls or SMS.

BSNL Mobile Validity extend and Free Talk time

First to the BSNL announcement, where the telco has extended the validity of all prepaid mobile subscribers till 20th April 2020. Thus BSNL mobile subscribers would continue to receive incoming calls even if they have not recharged for an STV plan. The validity extension applies to all BSNL prepaid mobile subscribers, whose validity expired after 22nd March 2020.

Also, for outgoing calls, BSNL would offer Rs 10 worth free talk-time minutes. This free talk time incentive is provided to all prepaid subscribers whose main balance reached zero during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Indian Telecom operators response COVID-19 Lockdown

It should be noted that you could still recharge or pay your BSNL bills online through MyBSNL app, BSNL website and other online mobile recharge services. BSNL’s broadband division has earlier introduced [email protected] promotional broadband plan at free of cost.

Airtel free incoming calls and Talk time

Similar to what BSNL has done, Airtel has also announced a slew of incentives for its low-income customers during the COVID-19 lockdown. The telco would continue to serve incoming calls to all its customers whose plan validity has exhausted. Airtel prepaid customers would get unrestricted incoming calls till 17th April 2020. Usually, the telco blocks incoming calls of subscribers after seven days of current pack’s expiry.

In this difficult hour of fighting off the threat of Covid-19, Airtel is committed to ensuring that all people remain connected without any disruptions. And for this objective, it is critical to take care of the under-privileged daily wage earners of our country, whose lives have been disrupted due to the lock-down,” said Shashwat Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel.

In addition to the extend incoming call facility, Airtel would also credit its subscribers (whose main balance get down to zero) with free Rs 10 balance. This would allow prepaid customers to make urgent outgoing voice calls or SMS.

Note that you could still recharge your Airtel prepaid mobile connection online via MyAirtel app, Airtel website and other online mobile recharge services.

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