Prepaid subscribers may soon have to shell out a sum to keep their number inactive for over two months. This suggestion from several telcos follows a noticeable lack in the availability of 10-digit numbers, reports the Times of India. In their response to the consultation paper pertaining to deactivation of inactive SIM cards, telcos like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices told TRAI that roughly 200 million inactive SIMs needed to be terminated, especially in the prepaid segment. The mobile operators put forth their proposal of 'safe custody' facility for prepaid users. Currently, postpaid users are offered this facility, wherein for a fee, subscribers are allowed to retain their inactive numbers for an extended period of time. In its statement to TRAI, RCom stated, "By paying a lump sum fee, any wireless subscriber should be able to retain their mobile connections even after long continuous periods of non-usage."
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