The COAI is reportedly mulling a 'paper-less activation process'.
With the retail stores of most telecom companies shut due to the the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the process of issuing new mobile connections has come to a halt.
Since they are considered non-essential services, retail stores of telecom companies are closed. As a result, the process of physical verification of documents has stopped completely.
A report in The Times of India said the move may have an impact on the delivery of subsidies, rolled out to lessen the financial burden on the poor during the coronavirus lockdown. This is because most schemes are linked to mobile phones for verification/confirmation.
"Something needs to be done soon as the country is battling a pandemic, and there are many who will need mobile connectivity," Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director-General Rajan Mathews told the publication.
Mathews said that the telecom industry body has taken up the matter with the government, while simultaneously working with mobile operators to devise an online process that will help in meeting the mandatory KYC norms specified by the Department of Telecom (DoT).
The COAI is mulling a 'paper-less activation process'. Mathews told the newspaper that a prospective customer can submit documents such as proof of identity and residence digitally. However, the customer should have an alternate number to complete the process.
Once the documents are processed, the customer will receive an inactive SIM card, which will be activated after an OTP is received on the alternate number.
Besides, many foreigners, who are stranded in India because of cancellation of flights, have lost their mobile connections. Taking note of this, operators have dough clarification from the DoT on whether these connections can be extended.
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