Vodafone and state-owned telecom operator BSNL have changed their network names to add coronavirus-related suffixes, in order to raise awareness about the pandemic. While BSNL is reported to have changed the operator name to ‘BSNL Stay at Home,' Vodafone is displaying 'Vodafone-Be Safe' as the network name for some users. The change comes at a time when telecom companies are making efforts to raise awareness and ensure social distancing amid the COVID-19 spread. Even the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued a directive to all telecom operators to change their default caller tune to a 30-second coronavirus awareness message.
The change in Vodafone's network operator name was spotted by users on Twitter, and has also been seen by at least one Gadgets 360 staff member. In fact, the change in Vodafone's network name is not limited to India. Users in Germany have also reported that Vodafone has changed the name to Vodafone #StayHome in the country.
Have anyone noticed? Vodafone changed their network name to -( Vodafone - Be Safe ) . Check in your settings. Leaving screenshots as references. @Gadgets360 @AndroidPolice @beebomco @xdadevelopers @XDA_Forum_Admin @AndroidAuth @howtomen @akshay_gangwar @sinharrupesh pic.twitter.com/VvwaMahmqb— Abhishek Singh (@Abhishekzobb) March 29, 2020
People on Twitter also reported the change in BSNL's network name to 'Stay At Home.' The move from both the telecom operators has received acclamation from the users, who have said that this is a good move to raise awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic and remind people to stay indoors.
BSNL changed his network name to STAY AT HOME 🇮🇳 Good Initiative 👌#BSNL #Hantavirus #COVID19Pakistan #LockdownNow #ChartbusterBhulaDunga #StayAtHomeSaveLives #BhulaDungaOutNow #CoronavirusLockdown #COVIDIDIOTS #Lahore #COVID2019 #Italy #JantaCurfew #lockdown #CoronaVirusUpdate pic.twitter.com/euU8UcSseJ— Game Onn_ (@Bantish_bunny) March 24, 2020
Now, this change in operator name does not seem to be live for all Vodafone and BSNL users in the country, and there is no official word from either Vodafone or BSNL on this development. We have reached out to both operators and will update the story when we get a response.
Both Vodafone and BSNL had earlier announced measures to help their customers during the COVID-19 crisis. BSNL had announced earlier this week that it is extending the validity of its mobile subscriptions to April 20. Earlier, BSNL had also launched a 'Work@Home' promotional broadband plan to offer internet access to its landline customers free of cost.
Vodafone, similarly, has announced benefits for its feature phone users on prepaid connections. Vodafone has provided an extension in the plan validity for users whose plans might be expiring during the 21-day coronavirus-led lockdown. Apart that, Vodafone is also giving away free talk-time worth Rs. 10 for its feature phone users.