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Re-verification of old subscribers costs high

Monday, 20 February 2017
PTI

New Delhi: Re-verification of existing mobile subscribers through Aadhaar-based e-KYC (know your customer) will cost an estimated Rs 2,500 crore, mobile operators' body COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) said seeking certain exemptions in the process.

"The re-verification activity entails a huge cost which is borne by the telecom service providers. In this case, the activity needs to be carried out for about 1,000 million subscribers which is a huge number and involves a humongous resources and efforts," said, director-general of COAI, Rajan Mathews.

In a letter to the Telecom Department, COAI has estimated the cost of carrying out this activity at about Rs 2,500 crore. The letter came in response to a meeting by the telecom department on the issue of re-verification of existing subscribers through Aadhaar-based e-KYC.

Telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) had suggested verification of existing mobile subscribers through Aadhaar-based e-KYC. The Supreme Court too has asked the Centre to apprise it about the steps which can be taken to scrutinise the existing and future mobile users in the country.

In its letter, COAI has suggested that once the e-KYC based activation facility reaches an acceptable levels, new customer activation should only be allowed through e-KYC except in case of foreign nationals and company-owned connections.

This, said COAI, would have to be mandatory precursor, as otherwise new non-eKYC subscribers would continue to be added into the system.

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