Trai extends validity of special tariff vouchers to 1 year from 90 days


Mumbai: The regulator had issued a draft regulation in July suggesting that a year-long validity could be beneficial for marginal consumers, first-time users and price-sensitive consumers. The rule has been notified now.

It allows the telecom operators to offer data packs with the validity of 365 days, extending the maximum permitted time period for such offers from 90 days. The move will benefit the entry level users, who go for cheaper data plans with longer validity period.

“Requests were received in Trai seeking longer validity for data packs (that is Special Tariff Vouchers with only data benefits) primarily to address the concern of marginal consumers of wireless Internet who prefer lower denomination data packs with longer validity,” the regulator said.

The present regime allows telcos to offer data services in the form of STVs with a maximum permitted validity of 90 days. That means, a mobile operator can issue recharge voucher, which can be valid for a maximum 90 days. After 90 days, unused mobile internet data gets lapsed.

After undertaking a consultation process, Trai said, it has notified the 10th amendment to the TCPR (Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations) permitting the maximum validity of 365 days for data-only STVs instead of prevailing maximum validity of 90 days.