Telcos restart disconnections following curfew relaxation
Several leading telecommunication service providers have begun disconnecting voice services that have exceeded their credit limit, ending over a two-month period of a “no disconnection” policy.
As per a directive issued to them by their regulator, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), service providers provided uninterrupted services throughout the curfew period without disconnection, despite the accumulated total of customers’ outstanding payments.
Nevertheless, now that curfew has been eased islandwide and customer lives are returning to normalcy, service providers have started disconnecting services, in a bid to encourage customers to settle their long-outstanding bills.
The Sunday Morning Business spoke to an official from Mobitel, a subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and the second biggest mobile telecommunication service provider in the country.
The official noted that Mobitel has been disconnecting voice connections that have exceeded the assigned credit limit by two times, while the company is throttling data connections that have exceeded the credit limit, thereby slowing down the data speed.
“We have begun disconnections, otherwise users will have to pay big bills; they already have bills in large sums. Throttling the data speed is a measure that we used even during the curfew. Once the data is throttled, slow speed data used by the consumer would be given free,” the official noted.
The official added that after the lifting of curfew, some customers have settled their outstanding payments but most of them are yet to settle and the company is concerned about it.
“Some are not paying their bills even after curfew, as we expected, and it is going to be a major financial issue for the company. Corporate businesses are not fully open yet. We expect corporate clients to settle their bills in the near future, hopefully,” the official noted.
Meanwhile, The Sunday Morning Business learnt that Dialog Axiata PLC, the country’s leading mobile telecommunication service provider with the largest market share has begun disconnecting individual services that have exceeded the assigned credit limit.