Vodafone Idea (Vi) has announced that it will offer low-income prepaid users with free mobile data and Vi to Vi talk time, to help them get back to work as Covid-19 unlock protocols begin across the country. Under this scheme, users who may be struggling to buy recharge packs will be credited with 50 minutes of free voice calls within the Vodafone Idea network, as well as 50MB of 4G data. Using this, low income group users can ensure that they remain connected as they resume work across the country. The recharge pack will remain valid for 15 days, following which the users will be required to purchase a recharge pack of their preference.
In a media statement, a Vi spokesperson said, “With the commencement of gradual state-wise unlocking efforts, India’s migrant working populations have started returning from their home towns to their work locations. During the lockdown period, a segment of prepaid telecom users were unable to recharge due to several reasons. Vi is inviting all such customers back to India’s fastest 4G network, as they resume work.”
The move comes at a time when Vodafone Idea continues to struggle as the third among the three major Indian telecom operators. While Vodafone India had retained the top spot back when the Indian telecom space was more fragmented, the advent of Reliance Jio led to a tariff war that saw many smaller telcos fold their operations, creating a three pronged race in the Indian telecom space. The move also led to Vodafone India initially losing followers at a drastic space, and subsequently announce a merger with the erstwhile Idea Cellular.
The move to offer interim free talk time and data to low income users by Vodafone Idea can be an effective initiative for the operator to keep users within their umbrella. For users to check whether they are eligible to receive the free voice talk time and data benefits, Vi users can call on 121153, or dial *444*75# to drop a message to get the benefits. Alternatively, users can also visit the nearest Vi retail outlets to check on the service.
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