Airtel has reduced the incoming voice call validity for Airtel prepaid users without an active plan. The validity was earlier 15 days, but it has now been reduced to seven days, according to a report. Airtel brought an end to lifetime free incoming calls plan last year and replaced some of its existing recharge options with 'minimum ARPU' packs, calling them ‘Smart Recharges'. Several telecom operators are taking this step to improve their Average Revenue Per User (ARPUs) and reduce the liability of non-paying subscribers from their subscriber base.
Telecom Talk reports that Airtel has revised its incoming voice call validity for prepaid users without an active plan. If a prepaid user's plan has expired, Airtel earlier allowed the user to get incoming calls for 15 days from expiry, after which incoming calls were barred till the user recharges to a plan. Now, that limit has been reduced to seven days, the report states. If an Airtel user fails to recharge upon expiry of validity, and is not on any active plan, outgoing calls would immediately be barred and the income calls will stop after seven days.
To offer some solace to users benefitting from the lifetime free incoming calls plan, Airtel has introduced a slew of Smart Recharge plans since last year that allow users to make voice calls and receive incoming calls as well. These plans are priced from as low as Rs. 23 and go up to Rs. 245. The Rs. 23, Rs 35, and Rs. 65 prepaid plans offer 28 days validity, while the Rs. 145 plan offers 42 days validity, and the Rs. 245 plan offers 84 days validity.
These plans come with minimum benefits, focussing more on validity; and the subscribers will have to pay additional money if they want more data, talk time etc. A recent report suggests that Airtel could lose up to 70 million subscribers in its ongoing battle to raise its average revenue per user (ARPU) ever since the entry of Reliance Jio. Airtel is facing a rapid decline in its ARPU due to a large number of inactive connections, and this new reduced seven days incoming calls validity after expiry looks to enforce subscribers to recharge and help maintain ARPU.