Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Govt Proposes New Verification Rules For Telecom – Boost Or Bane?

This proposal has left the Telcos baffled who have now decided to approach telecom ministry as well as the telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Implications of the new verification model

The intention behind the new verification process is genuine. India has some real security concerns and we all know that the existing process of seeking a new mobile connection and verification thereafter has too many loopholes to be desired. So it makes perfect sense to tighten the verification process. But implementation is as important as the intent. And I am not sure whether the proposed verification norms by the Government have the true potential to address our Security concerns without inhibiting the current growth exhibited by the Telecom sector.

India is one of the fastest growing cellular markets in the world. Despite this, users enjoy the lowest tariffs in world, thanks to the cut-throat competition amongst the operators. But the new proposal will increase the operational costs and the Telecom operators would be bound to pass it to the customers. This will kill the current pricing model and hence the benefits enjoyed by the customers. It can also have adverse impact on the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) scheme which is due to be implemented soon.

The proposed verification scheme will also delay the process of new registrations. Gone are those days when we had to wait for days to get a new phone connection.  But the new proposal if implemented would involve the SIM to be mailed, thus causing unnecessary delay. And the further we go out of the main cities the worse the problem will be. It will certainly slow down the telecom sector’s pace of growth and we can’t afford that.

The growth of telecom sector is fundamental to the growth of our economy. But rolling back the gains which the telecom sector currently enjoys is no answer to our Security woes.  True that Security should be our prime most concern but we will have to be more prudent in dealing with that.  What we need is better policing, better coordination, better intelligent gathering and less corruption.  Let’s see if  we are smart enough to devise a new way to address the security issue without compromising on the growth.  What do you think?

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Categories: Mobile, News, Views
Tags: dot, govt, india trai, mobile regulations indi, new Telecom verification rules, telecom, telecom penetration

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