Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in an effort to bring transparency in telecom operators mass disconnection of inactive prepaid mobile connection has released a new regulation called ‘Deactivation of Cellular Mobile Telephone Connections due to Non-usage‘. Under the new regulation operators can’t disconnect SIMs with a Rs 20 balance and non-usage less than 90 days.
Currently telecom operators prescribe the condition of deactivation if the mobile connections remain inactive for some period of time. They contend that mobile connections in a state of continuous non-usage block scarce numbering resources and keeping such mobile connections active in the system for unduly long periods becomes non-remunerative. Also customers are correctly informed about this and any balance amount in the account gets forfeited. The new regulation from TRAI says –
- The mobile connections of prepaid consumers shall not be deactivated for any period of non-usage less than 90 days.
- For the purpose of usage, a voice call/ video call (incoming or outgoing) or an outgoing SMS or a data usage or usage of Value Added Services, or payment of rental (in case of post paid connection) etc. shall definitely fall in the scope of activity, the service provider may prescribe any other activity as well.
- There shall be no deactivation if the balance in prepaid consumer account is Rs 20 or more.
- An ‘Automatic Number Retention Scheme’ shall be implemented for prepaid consumers on payment of reasonable charges
- A consumer whose connection is deactivated shall be given a grace period of 15 days within which he can reactivate the same number.
- Consumers shall be transparently communicated the terms and conditions of deactivation of SIMs due to non-usage.
In addition telecom operators need to implement a ‘Safe Custody Scheme’ for postpaid consumers on payment of a reasonable charge, during this time they will not be required to pay monthly rental.