Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has slipped in a new rule about unused prepaid SIM cards with lifetime validity, according to

which the number will be disconnected after 20 days of inactivity. This means, if you dont make or recieve any outgoing or incoming calls within 20 days, your mobile number can be re-alloted. Previously, one could go upto 180 days without recharging, which was later reduced to 90 days in 2010. TRAI had already enforced this new rule three months back and are yet to give a public notice. What's worse, service providers have neglected to inform prepaid customers about this new rule. According to Daily Bhaskar, about thousand phone numbers were diconnected in Bhopal last month, a large portion of which belonged to students from Jammu and Kashmir.

Thanks for the heads up…NOT

Yogendra Srivastava, Public Relations Officer came to TRAI's defense stating the reason for the reduction in validity period was because many people own several SIM cards, but tend to use only some of them most of the time. By reducing the validity period, unused numbers can go back into the number pool, which gives others a fair chance to get them. While this does make sense, we feel TRAI should have communicated this better instead of quietly enforcing it. Also, 20 days validity does seem a little less if you're going to be out of town and are unable to use the phone. There's a good chance of you losing your number. Let us know what you feel about this new TRAI directive.

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