India’s regulator pressed operators for details of prepaid subscribers’ usage during a Covid-19 (coronavirus) lockdown, seeking to determine what benefits should continue to be offered after the government extended the stay-home period, The Times of India reported.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) wants the data to establish usage patterns during the three-week lockdown period, which was due to expire tomorrow (17 April) but has since been kept in place until 3 May.

There are concerns some prepaid users had been unable to top-up prior to the implementation of the lockdown, with TRAI also seeking data on how many ran out of credit during the period along with the number receiving free credit under operator schemes to keep people connected.

The newspaper said TRAI had contacted Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, along with state-run operators BNSL and MTNL. After reviewing the data, TRAI will work out the measures required to ensure prepaid subscribers can stay connected during the latest lockdown, it stated.

TRAI also asked the companies to extend the validity of all prepaid accounts until at least 3 May: Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel made such moves when the original stay-home order was issued.