Vodafone and Idea Cellular users will not have to pay extra for sending SMS text messages on New Year’s Eve. The company has announced the discontinuation of blackout days for December 31, 2018, which would be New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day, which is January 1, 2019.
Vodafone and Idea will also extend this policy to all other special days of the year 2019 for their customers. What this means is that if you choose to send text messages wishing your friends and family Happy New Year, then you will not be charged extra on both these days.
Usually, telecom players charge standard SMS rates or higher rates for SMS on special occasions like New Year’s, Christmas, Diwali, etc. This would mean that even if your recharge pack came with free SMS, on the special holiday, that free SMS would be charged extra and deducted from your balance or added to your bill.
Vodafone and Idea have said that customers will now be able to continue availing special SMS benefits, as per their packs, all 365 days a year with no exception of blackout days. Vodafone and Idea had eliminated the special SMS charges on Christmas 2018.
The company has confirmed they will no longer have blackout days for all of 2019. Vodafone says the reason for this is to keep in mind customers who prefer to use SMS as a messaging service, and feature phone users who wish to connect with their loved ones.
Of course, the rise of WhatsApp, which is now being offered on basic features phones based on KaiOS like JioPhone, JioPhone 2, has meant that the popularity of SMS as a tool for wishing friends and family has declined. Still for feature phone users or those who are not yet so tech savvy, the SMS remains an option for sending wishes.
Another player which has removed blackout days for New Year’s eve and New Year’s Day 2019 is state-owned teleco BSNL.
BSNL announced that it will not be having any blackout days for all of 2019. Again the company will not charge any of its customers anything extra for SMS or calls and stick to the tariff plan. This offer extends to all of BSNL’s GSM prepaid and postpaid subscribers.