Days after the extension of the lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, private telecom companies Bharati Airtel and Vodafone Idea have also decided to extend their validity on prepaid plans for majority of their needy users till May 3.

Last month, after TRAI’s scrutiny for the validity extension during the 21-day lockdown period, the two private telcos along with the State-run MTNL and BSNL had extended validity on prepaid numbers for the poor users. These companies had also credited talk time of Rs 10 in all such accounts.

Vodafone Idea on Friday announced an extension of incoming services for the low-income customers using feature phones till May 3.

Reports quoted Avneesh Khosla, Marketing Director, Vodafone Idea as saying, “In order to ensure that consumers stay connected during this extended lockdown, we are extending the incoming service validity of 90 mn consumers till May 3rd. This would effectively mean that these consumers can use their phones for receiving incoming calls unhindered.”

In a similar move, Bharti Airtel announced it has extended the validity period for incoming calls on numbers being used by low-income users till the lockdown ends i.e. May 3.

“Many of these customers have been able to recharge through several channels activated by Airtel including – ATMs, post offices, grocery stores and chemist shops, in addition to digital channels. However, close to 30 million such customers have still not been able to recharge their pre-paid mobile accounts,” said Airtel in a statement.

Jim, on the other hand, has launched an app called, ‘JioPOS Lite, to incentivize users to recharge for others and earn a commission from it.

All the above initiatives from these private telecom companies were taken after TRAI had reissued letters on April 7, asking them to accelerate their measures in order to provide uninterrupted services to all those who are at the bottom of the pyramid and are not financially stable to recharge their mobile numbers during the extended lockdown phase.