Trai stand on deactivating unused SIMs by March

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday said that it expects to finalise the recommendations for deactivating services of inactive mobile phone connections by March.

“We are in the process of finalising recommendations on deactivating SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) of unused numbers. It will be announced in about a month and a half,” said Trai Secretary Rajeev Agrawal.

Recently, the telecom regulator had initiated a debate on the issue of operators arbitrarily disconnecting services of customers on grounds of “non-usage of numbers” or “inactive SIM connections”.

Trai in its consultation paper said: “Deactivation of a SIM without prior intimation and on arbitrary grounds deprives the subscriber of his mobile number which might have been an identity for him for a long time.”
As per the regulator’s report, around 20 crore SIMs have been inactive for over a certain period of time and the total balance on that account is Rs 128.9 crore.

Telecom operators said they have to deactivate SIMs to efficiently manage the number series (mobile phone numbers) allocated by the Department of Telecom.

On pesky calls and SMSes, he said, though the menace has reduced drastically after several measures were initiated by the Trai, the regulator is in constant touch with telecom operators to make it a zero tolerance offence.

He also said that the regulator has started consultations with various stake holders on tariff for roaming services and implications of free national roaming. The Trai is also seized with the matter on introducing nationwide number portability system, he added.

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