Telecom Lead India: Mobile operators in the country can
save over Rs 1,000 crore every year provided they use Aadhaar authentication to
verify identity and address of their subscribers, according to a study by the
Unique Identification of Authority of India (UIDAI).
Spending on mobile subscriber verification has been a
major issue in India. On average, telecom operators add 10 to 12 million
subscribers every month. In 2010, telecom operators said verification norms
increased the cost for operators to register new subscribers.
Adopting Aadhaar authentication can result in substantial savings of over Rs
1,000 crore annually for the telecom industry, according to a study called
Leveraging Aadhaar in Telecom Sector by UIDAI. UIDAI is a body which is
implementing Aadhhar project under which every resident of the country would be
given a unique number.
The authority has been entrusted the task of enrolling 60 million residents. It
has enrolled 20 million residents. Aadhaar authentication is an online
real-time service and only responds with a yes or no.
According to UIDAI’s study, the discussions with industry experts indicate that
paperless Know Your Customer (KYC) using Aadhaar can save substantially per
subscriber by avoiding TERM fines and paper-based backend processes.
The TERM fines are imposed on operators who fail to verify subscribers identity
and address as per prescriber norms.
According to the annual report of Department of Telecom for 2010-2011, the
Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring cell imposed a penalty of Rs 700
crore on telecom operators related to subscriber verification.
The estimate indicates that the telecom operators are issuing over 30 million
mobile phone connections every month.
The UIDAI has been given permission and finances to the
tune of an additional 5,791 crore to enrol another 40 crore people in 16 States
under its Aadhaar scheme. The NPR will accept the biometric data collected by
the UIDAI in those States and continue to collect its own data through the
Registrar-General of India in the remaining States.
The UIDAI had been mandated to enrol 20 crore people by
March 2012. While the UIDAI is a voluntary scheme, the NPR is mandatory for all
residents. What this means is that if a resident has enrolled himself with the
UIDAI and has had his fingerprints and iris scanned, he can merely give his
Aadhaar number to the NPR registrars rather than submitting himself to
biometric data collection twice.
Recently, te UIDAI has claimed the data cannot be accessed
even by the operator, enrolling agency or the multiple registrars engaged in