As the deadline looms for Indian operators to re-verify the names and addresses of their customers, the nation's telecom ministry has warned it will not be lenient on penalties for failure to comply.
The DoT has told operators they will still face fines for every single subscriber they fail to re-verify, escalating based on the percentage of unregistered users, Economic Timessaid.
Operators found to have covered only 86% of their subscribers will face fines of 20,000 rupees ($441.40) per unverified customer, but that will fall to 1,000 per head if they are found to have re-verified more than 95% of their users.
The government has been threatening the action against operators since November 2009, in response to concerns that unverified mobiles had been used to plan terrorist attacks, leaving authorities unable to trace them.
The DoT had originally given operators one year to comply. But the deadline had been extended multiple times, after companies complained they were unable to complete the process in time.
With India having a mobile customer base of some 729 million – and 15-20 million being added per month – re-verification is a sizable undertaking.
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