The telcos were directed by TRAI not to deactivate the SIMs of the subscribers till such time they have balance in their accounts equal to the minimum recharge amount required as per a tariff plan.
The letter comes in the backdrop of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea going on a drive to weed out customers who maintain only minimum balance in their accounts so as to be able to receive calls but do not make outgoing calls, dragging the metric of average revenue per user (ARPU) down. These plans are called minimum recharge plans and typically begin at Rs 35.
"Catering to the evolving market dynamics, Vodafone Idea has radically simplified its prepaid plans to enhance customer convenience. These new integrated prepaid plans, available in a range of price points, offer bundled talk-time and tariff, making them easier to understand and use," a spokesperson for India's new market leader said in response to ET's queries.