The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) approached the Aadhaar body UIDAI seeking an extension of the deadline to implement the new mobile re-verification methods such as one-time password (OTP). The current deadline to implement the new modes is December 1, 2017.
To recall, UIDAI recently approved the telecom operators request of implementing three new methods of re-verifying the mobile number. "We are not ready. We have told the UIDAI and the Telecom Department that timeframe which has been given to the operators from UIDAI is unrealistic in terms of implementation that is being proposed," Director-General of Cellular Operators' Association of India Rajan Mathews said to Press Trust of India (PTI).
As we already know, COAI is the industry body of telecom operators such as Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Aircel, and Telenor. Currently, telecom operators are re-verifying the mobile numbers using the biometric method, which some users are not comfortable with.
Under the new development, telecom operators will roll out new methods to re-verify the mobile number via an OTP using an App based or IVRS based mechanism. "Besides, it has flagged that Customer Acquisition Form (CAF) will need suitable modification under the new system, and operators will require at least 4-6 weeks after a key issues have been decided," the PTI report added.
"Considering the technical changes that the telecom operators have to undergo, the timelines for implementation of any such process should be realistic, at least 4-6 weeks from the date of the process being finalised and implementation orders issued by Department of Telecom (alongwith the new eCAF)," Mathews said in a letter dated November 20 to the UIDAI.
COAI also said that it would not be possible for the telecom operators to fill many of the mandatory fields in the CAF in an OTP-based process. That said, COAI said that the DoT should issue the modified CAF, but the same would "need to be developed by the telecom service providers and incorporated in their apps pan India".
The last date for re-verifying the mobile number is February 6, 2018. Having said that, operators might take another one month to roll out the new methods of re-verifying the mobile numbers, and they might come to light by January 2018.