Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on August 19, 2016, permitted the service providers to increase the validity of mobile internet data packs from 90 days to 365 days. TRAI said that this is the step to boost the data usage of marginal consumers and it will also catch the attention of first-time internet users.
TRAI received requests for extension of validity for special data tariff vouchers which offers only data benefits. These data packs are mainly for the smartphone users who prefer to consume lower denomination of wireless internet data packs with longer validity.
Many Indian mobile consumers use mobile SIMs only for data services instead of making phone calls. And the extended data pack validity will help such users to carry forward the unused wireless internet quota throughout the year which usually lapses at the end of each month. Also, the mobile number automatically gets ceased if the customer fails to use the mobile services for a continuous period of 90 days. So the extended validity packs will help consumers to retain their mobile numbers.
TRAI said that the total wireless subscriber base of India by the end of March 2016 was 103.37 crore and only 31.35 crores of those wireless subscribers actually used the internet services.
Therefore, the wireless internet penetration in India was only 30% as of March 2016. The wireless internet data usage during January-March 2015 grew by 58% while the wireless subscriber base using internet services grew by mere 16% during January-March 2016.
On that TRAI said, “The existing wireless internet subscribers have discovered the benefits of internet usage and hence they have started consuming more data. But on contrary to this, the non-connected mobile subscribers are not attracting towards internet access.”
It said that the illiteracy or low level of literacy, less recognition for use of internet and non-affordability of data tariffs are hindering the adoption of mobile internet. And therefore, the regulator decided to allow longer validity for special data tariff packs which will provide flexibility to mobile service providers to offer attractive data products. Check out our list of 4G Mobile phones to enjoy 4G services.