Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Vi are likely to face another issue due to lockdown as they are expected to report a 10 to 15 percent decline in prepaid recharging. Also, customers are not stepping out to recharge their mobile numbers as offline shops are not functional.
“Offline recharges have almost died out since Corona started last year, but we are dependent on online SIM deliveries now,” a Vodafone Idea Mini Store owner was quoted by ET. The store owner said that telcos send to retailers whenever there is a demand. However, all private telecom players believe that there will be no major impact as the sector comes under essential services. They said that lockdown might increase the digital recharges to 75 percent from 60 percent.
“Telcos come under essential services, which are allowed to remain open, but in many areas in Mumbai and Delhi, shops are shutting down. This will reflect in a 10-15 percent drop, but we should see an uptick in digital recharges,” said a senior executive from private telecom players.
Airtel said that we are offering both online and offline platforms, which allow our customers to recharge and pay bills. Airtel said that its Thanks app also enables users to recharge their numbers. Besides, the company has launched the Superstar program, Ask-a-Friend to Recharge, recharge from the ATM, and pharmacies. Similarly, Reliance Jio launched an initiative, where customers are allowed to recharge numbers of their family and friends. This initiative allows customers to get a four percent commission.
However, to get this benefit users have to install the JioPos app from the Play Store. Besides, the company joined hands with several banks and pharmacies for the same. Last year, telecom operators extended the validity of prepaid plans of 70 to 100 million customers. It is worth noting that Vi also allows its users to recharge their numbers via its app. In fact, telecom operators claim that they are already prepaid for the lockdown as more and more customers are opting for digital platforms for recharging their numbers. Gizbot News