The days of having to go through heavy paperwork to get a new mobile connection are now a thing of the past. Now it will be possible for people to apply for a new mobile connection, validate identity, and activate connection all on the Internet. This facility will be applicable to both prepaid and postpaid mobile connections.
All that one needs to do for this to happen is use their finger print and Aadhar Card at points of sale. Indian government has recently come out with guidelines pertaining to e-KYC and they are expected to make it more convenient for the subscribers to use the authentication and application processes and complete them in record time.
How is it better than the existing process?
Right now, people are using a process based on documents in order to get their SIM connections. However, the signing of incessant forms is highly time-consuming as well. With the new process one feels that SIM activation could happen instantly.
In the new process, when someone uses his biometric details and Aadhar Card details, it is expected that UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) will receive the online authorization to provide the following demographic details to the concerned service provider:
- Date of birth
- Digitally-signed photographs
In a statement, the DoT (Department of Telecommunications) has also stated that the digital information provided by UIDAI will be digitally signed, and hence, concerned licensees will be able to read them with their machines. This will also allow them to store the records of these applicants in their respective databases so that they can issue a mobile connection.
How will this benefit people?
Ranjan Mathews, director general of COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) has stated that this decision would be beneficial for every stakeholder – the service providers as well as the receivers.
According to him, this decision will make the activation process simpler than before, the verification process easier, and also make the whole process rather secure. He has hoped that the time for verification, which took 8-10 hours previously, will now be reduced to a great extent.
Opinions of service providers
It is expected that Bharti Airtel would be the first service provider to initiate this service according to Gopal Vittal, CEO and MD, India and South Asia. It could happen as early as August 21, 2016. According to Vodafone, this solution — apart from being secure and instant — will also be environmentally beneficial, perhaps alluding to the fact it would be a paperless process. The organization is also sure that every stakeholder shall be benefiting from the same.
As a result of this service, people can now walk in a Vodafone store with their Aadhaar card and get a SIM in a few minutes. Sunil Sood, CEO and MD of Vodafone, has stated that this new service will significantly add to sales and also help them be more compliant with various regulations.
For Vodafone customers, as per Sood, this will mean that their personal information that is supposed to remain confidential will stay so. It is also expected to enhance their experience as well. Sood also stated that for Vodafone this will also mean that they are able to get better audit results and have no governance-related issues.
Hemant Joshi, who is a partner of Deloitte Haskins & Sells, feels that this decision will substantially reduce the costs incurred in acquiring new subscribers. This also means that from now on telecom companies need not depend on transporting the forms physically, which will further ease related processes such as verification, storage, and scanning of forms. Joshi also feels that companies would find it easier to comply and reduce litigation in audits done by term cell.
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