The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has taken up the issue of the telecom operators ‘arbitrarily’ disconnecting services of subscribers owing to ‘non-usage of numbers’ or ‘inactive SIM connections’ and has released a consultation paper on the issue.
According to the TRAI, around 20 crore SIM cards have been inactive for a particular period of time, while total balance due on that account is about Rs. 128.9 crore. The regulator noted that subscribers have to taken to various platforms/forums to complain that their mobile connections were being disconnected arbitrarily by telecom operators.
“Mobile number series allocated to the wireless access service providers for provisioning of mobile numbers are becoming increasingly scarce because of a significant growth in the number of wireless connections coupled with the presence of a large number of competitive wireless access service providers. It has been observed that a significant number of wireless connections are not used for long periods of time. This results in avoidable blocking of scarce numbering resources,” says the telecom regulator in a release.
“With an aim to manage their numbering resources better, the service providers have proposed to follow a procedure for deactivating mobile connections which are not used for a long time. However, while carrying out such deactivations, the customers should be informed transparently and those customers who wish to retain their connections even while not using them should have the option to do so on payment of a connection retention fee. TRAI has, therefore, decided to undertake a consultation process on various issues related to deactivation of SIMs due to non-usage with a view to protect the interests of consumers while seeking to ensure better utilization of scarce numbering resources,” it further adds.
The TRAI has invited written comments on the issues raised in the Consultation Paper from the stakeholders by 21.12.2012. Counter-comments, if any, may be sent by 28.12.2012.
- TRAI moves to check arbitrary disconnection of SIMs (thehindu.com)