Srinagar, Jan 18 : The Kashmir valley residents on Saturday welcomed the restoration of pre-paid mobile telephony services across the Valley and resumption of 2G internet in Kupwara and Bandipora districts as "happy news", hoping for total restoration of communication facilities in the Union Territory.
It is really happy news. There are more prepaid users than postpaid ones and it is a huge relief for them. They can remain in touch with their loved ones now, said Shakeel Sofi, a city resident.
He said the prepaid mobile phone users faced many hardships due to the ban on the service.
With voice calls and SMS being restored, it will relieve the users like me from many hardships. My prepaid number was linked to all my banking and other accounts and I faced a lot of hardships in these past months, he said.
Another user, Ganderbal resident Khurshid Ahmad, said people like him can now get their bank details through SMS which had been banned since August 5.
We had to frequent bank branches to get details of our accounts. Now, we can do from home," he said.
Khalid Dar, a telecom vendor, said the move would boost the telecom business which has otherwise witnessed a gloom for the past five months.
We have witnessed gloom during these months. We used to get occasional postpaid users during the day, coming to submit their bills. The number of prepaid users is much more and we can now earn more through recharges, Dar said.
Owais Lone, a resident of Kupwara district in north Kashmir, where the low-speed 2G services on postpaid mobile phones are being restored, was overjoyed to hear about it.
This is very good news for all of us. I cannot believe mobile internet services are being restored. We will now be able to access the world wide web, an ecstatic Lone said over the phone.
He said the move would especially help thousands of students in the two north Kashmir districts in their educational pursuits.
The internet ban has affected our education. It has especially affected those who had to seek admissions and to take part in various examinations, he said.
While several people welcomed the move, many described it as too late and too little".
This should have been done a long time ago. They should have restored the high-speed internet services like Broadband and 4G mobile internet. This is too late and too little, said another city resident Arshid Ahmad Bhat.
They keep on saying the situation is normal and everything is under control. Then why broadband services are not being restored to the general public? What stops them from restoring broadband or 4G mobile internet across the valley? asked Ganderbal resident Shabir Ahmad.
Ahmad, however, said the announcement raised hopes of the total restoration of the communication services across the Valley.
We hope the internet services get restored soon in other districts across the Valley. Today's announcement has obviously raised our hopes and we are looking forward to the restoration of the high-speed internet, he said.