Next time you get a call on your cellphone asking for details about yourself, do not disconnect assuming it to be a telemarketing call. If you do not give the details, chances are your connection will be snapped after March 31, 2007.
As part of a subscriber verification drive, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued orders to all telecom operators to verify once again the personal details each one of their existing subscribers had provided when they first took the connection. The decision was taken after a series of meetings between the DoT, the Home Ministry and the security agencies on the security threat from people who had secured subscriber identification module (SIM) cards without proper verification.
A directive from DoT to all telecom operators says, "The licencee (telecom operator) shall cross-verify the information from the actual user by calling the respective subscriber. There shall not be any connection working after March 31, 2007 in the licencee’s network, without having the subscriber information duly verified."
The directive also warns that the operator will be fined a minimum of Rs 1,000 for every number found working without proper verification after March 31, 2007. The subscriber’s line too will be disconnected.
Operators have been asked to maintain a database as well of the information provided on customer acquisition forms and supporting documents.
SC Khanna of the Association of Unified Service Providers of India says, “An advertising campaign with details of the guidelines will be soon launched.” He says more than 50 per cent of verification has already been completed.
Email Manoharan Rajendran: rajendran .firstname.lastname@example.org