TRAI, the telecom regulator of India has raised concerns over the issue of operators arbitrarily disconnecting services of the customers who are not using their SIM cards, or are having inactive SIM connections. Information provided by telecom operators say that about 20 crore SIM cards were inactive over a period of time and a total balance on those accounts stood at Rs. 128.9 crores.
The telecom regulator has also said that telecom subscribers on various forums have stated that their mobile connections were being disconnected by the telecom operators. The consultation paper of TRAI said, “Deactivation of a SIM without prior intimation and on arbitrary grounds deprives the subscriber of his mobile number which might have been an identity for him for a long time”.
Due to disconnected SIM cards consumers suffered from a potential loss of activity in personal and professional setups, causing an adverse impact on their livelihood. Some consumers even complained of their SIM cards being deactivated without prior intimation, by their telecom service providers.
The SIM cards that were disconnected also included those that were not being used when customers were travelling in India or abroad. Other subscribers lamented about the disconnection of their lifetime pre-paid connection within a very short period of non-usage. TRAI has also said that it does not follow any common criteria to disconnect inactive SIM cards.