Monthly updates for prepaid packages: Trai for Telecom

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Operators must provide at least one plan voucher, one special tariff voucher, and one combo voucher valid for 30 days. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has given operators 60 days to make necessary changes to their billing systems.

The telecom regulator has directed telecom companies to provide prepaid subscribers with a plan voucher, a special tariff voucher, and a combo voucher that can be renewed on the same date every month. This means that prepaid subscribers can take advantage of a post-paid billing cycle where the bill is generated every month regardless of the number of days in the month.

Operators must provide at least one plan voucher, one special tariff voucher, and one combo voucher valid for 30 days. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has given operators 60 days to make necessary changes to their billing systems.

Currently, most prepaid tariff packs come with a pre-determined validity period of 28/56/84 days, but the regulator has received complaints about the 28-day validity pack, also known as the monthly pack.

Customers have highlighted the need to make 13 recharges a year with the most important tariff plan, the 28-day validity pack. If recharge is allowed every month, only 12 recharges can be made in a year. For postpaid tariffs, the billing cycle runs every month regardless of the number of days in a month.

Operators claim that it is impractical to offer a monthly valid prepaid pack, citing the need for clarity and objectivity throughout service. As the number of days in a month may vary, it should not be the basis for rates for prepaid services.

Telcos highlighted to Trai that in contrast to postpaid services that follow the concept of a fixed billing cycle every month, prepaid services will resume from the date of recharge and follow the validity period of the tariff. Indicates the number of days beyond a fixed monthly billing period.

Even if the 30 -day offer is mandated, customers must extend it to one in 31 days.

Drawing examples from international practices, Troy said Vodafone UK is offering 30-day valid ‘pay as you go tariffs, while another UK telecom O2 offers ‘pay as you go’ tariffs for one month.

Verizon USA also adheres to a monthly system for charging its prepaid services and stipulates that the monthly prepaid plan will be renewed on the same date each month, regardless of the number of days in the month.

Trai said, “As the availability of prepaid plans that can be recharged on the same date each month is gaining popularity internationally, there is no reason why Indian Telecom customers should not be offered this option”.

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