Delhi, March 29: Government is likely to decide on
Monday whether to continue pre-paid mobile phone
services in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and other
Northeastern states beyond March 31. If a decision is
not taken within next two days, about 33 million
subscribers may be affected.
high-level committee headed by Union Home Secretary LC
Goyal will deliberate on the issue on Monday where a
final decision on whether to continue the pre-paid
service in the regions is expected to be taken, highly
placed sources said.
Home Ministry is expected to give its nod to continue
the pre-paid mobile services in the three telecom
circles -- Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Northeast --
with some riders that include restrictions on some
frontier pockets and sensitive areas where there are
presence of militant groups.
few norms could also be added in the existing subscriber
verification process. Jammu and Kashmir shares border
with Pakistan while most of the Northeastern states
share international border with countries like China,
Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
of roughly 35 million telecom subscribers in the three
circles, about 33 millions are pre-paid subscribers.
Currently, telecom companies offering GSM and CDMA
technology platform have permission to continue the
service in these sensitive regions till March 31.
the permission is given, it is expected to be for two
years from April one. It was in March, 2013 when the
last time a decision was taken allowing the telecom
service providers to offer the pre-paid mobile phone
services in these three telecom circles for two years.
2009, the Department of Telecom had banned pre-paid
mobile phone services in these regions citing national
security grounds. The ban was withdrawn the next year
but the department tightened the verification process
for new customers and ordering re-verification of
existing subscribers. (PTI)