Indian telecom regulator TRAI on Friday issued regulations regarding the deactivation of inactive pre-paid mobile connections.
At present there is lack of transparency in the mobile phone disconnection drive, where consumers will be inconvenienced by the disconnection ans also forfeit the balance amount in the account.
On the other side, telecom service providers also have reasons to disconnect longtime un-used connections as they are non-remunerative to the company and also they are fast running out of 10 digit numbering resources with the rise in subscribers' base in India.
TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) citing the 'Telecom Consumers Protection (Sixth Amendment) Regulations, 2013 said that the new guidelines will protect the interests of mobile consumers as well as service providers.
The new regulatory guidelines include:
- The mobile connections of prepaid consumers shall not be deactivated for any period of non-usage less than 90 days.
- Pre-paid mobile connection will not be de-activated if the consumer has a minimum balance of ₹20 or more.
- Telecom service providers are instructed to communicate with the subscribers about the terms and conditions of the deactivation of SIMs due to non-usage.
- In the event of deactivation of mobile connection, consumers will be given a grace period of 15 days to get the connection re-activated.
- An 'Automatic Number Retention Scheme' shall be implemented for the pre-paid consumers on payment of reasonable charges.
The regulations also included the implementation of 'Safe Custody Scheme' for post-paid consumers. They can retain their unused post-paid connection for a payment of reasonable charge without having to pay any monthly rental charges during the period of safe custody.