The biometric-issuing authority UIDAI, behind the controversial Aadhaar, sent a circular to telecom operators to submit a plan to stop using the 12-digit unique ID number for customer authentication, PTI reported.
Indian telecom operators such as BSNL, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio will get 15 days to submit the action plan. The decision to stop the use of Aadhaar numbers for the verification of customer identity will slow down the process of issue of new SIM cards in India.
All telecom operators – especially Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel – need to ramp up customer base to take on Vodafone Idea, the new number one telecom operator in India. Reliance Jio is looking for more customers to ensure revenue growth.
Airtel, which lost its number one spot to Vodafone Idea, needs more customers to grow its business.
Last week, Supreme Court imposed curbs on the use of Aadhaar based authentication systems by mobile operators.
The Supreme Court, last week, struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, which allowed private companies to use the 12-digit biometric ID-based eKYC. Following this, telecom operators will not be able to use the fast and cost effective Aadhaar-based eKYC route for verification.
This would mean that the telecom industry will have to go back to alternates like paper-based verification that would take 24-36 hours for completion. Physical verification may result into slow growth in revenue of telecom services in India. Due to the competition, telecom operators are facing challenging business conditions in the country.