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Telecom companies seek more time to implement Aadhaar-based re-verification

Cellular operators' association of India (COAI) has requested the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to postpone the December 1 deadline for executing Aadhaar-based re-verification of mobile subscribers.

Mail Today Bureau        Last Updated: November 23, 2017  | 10:27 IST
Telecom companies seek more time to implement Aadhaar-based re-verification

Cellular operators' association of India (COAI) has requested the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to postpone the December 1 deadline for executing Aadhaar-based re-verification of mobile subscribers.

"We are not ready. We have told the UIDAI and the telecom department that the timeframe given to the operators is unrealistic in terms of implementation that is being proposed," said director-general of Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) Rajan Mathews.

COAI, which represents major telcos such Airtel, Idea, Vodafone and Jio is also pushing for SMS-based One Time Password (OTP) to be included in the new mechanism, where web-based and IVRSbased processes have been approved.

Besides, it has flagged that the customer acquisition form (CAF) will need suitable modification under the new system, and operators will require at least 4-6 weeks after key issues have been decided.

"Considering the technical changes that the telecom operators have to undergo, the timelines for implementation of any such process should be realistic, at least 4-6 weeks from the date of the process being finalised and implementation orders issued by Department of Telecom (along with the new CAF)," Mathews said in a letter to the UIDAI, dated November 20.

COAI said the present customer acquisition form will need to be modified as it would not be possible for the telecom service providers to fill many of the mandatory fields in the CAF in an OTPbased process.

It said that modified CAF is required to be issued by the DoT and the same will have to be developed by the telecom service providers and incorporated in their apps pan-India.

The government announced last month that it would simplify the Aadhaar-based verification of existing SIMs by enabling OTP-based authentication.

Telecom service providers have been told to initiate a scheme to use OTP based re-verification of mobile subscribers using IVRS or a mobile app.

While the authentication of mobile phone number with Aadhaar, a process called re-verification, by visiting stores of telecom firms will continue, the government has also ordered the companies to carry out the exercise at the doorsteps of the disabled, chronically ill and senior citizens.

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