Identity Crisis: Cell Cos To Block Prepaid Users

Hyderabad: | Updated: Jul 31 2002, 05:30am hrs
Cellular operators across the country are close to taking stringent action against pre-paid subscribers who took subscription in the last three months for not adhering to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s order on photo identity proof.

“Nearly 12 to 15 per cent of the total pre-paid subscri-bers in India are expected to lose their connections in the next few days as operators are firm in their decision to adhere to the Trai order by disconnecting services of those who do not comply with photo identity proof with immediate effect,” a senior official of Bharti Mobile Limited, requesting anonymity, told eFE on Tuesday.

The Trai, which is firm on this issue has asked the operators to take stringent action. “We have no other option but to take action against them,” the official said.

According to the official, the Trai, while holding the licence weapon, also warned the operators asking them to act immediately on those pre-paid subscribers or else face the music.

“The situation is very grim,” he added.

Following this, the COAI has communicated to operators the possible action to be taken. “It is only a matter of time before we finally announce immediate disconnection of services of the new pre-paid subscribers,” the official maintained.

Although Trai has relaxed the deadline only for those pre-paid subscribers who took subscriptions before May this year, it is, however, firm on action against new customers, who joined on or after May 1, the official pointed out.

“All the operators are expected to make a last ditch effort to safeguard the interests of the new pre-paid subscribers and at the same time to avert the sudden effect on their growth,” he said.

“The operators are expected to issue a final warning either on Wednesday or on Thursday stating the immediate disconnection of the services of those pre-paid subscribers who have not fulfilled the Trai order,” he said.