The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) consultation paper on terminating inactive connections has found favour with various operators. As per news reports, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) have said that around 200 million inactive connections (mostly in the prepaid segment) ought to be terminated.

Also, these operators have suggested imposing a fixed fee on such subscribers, in case they plan to keep their numbers inactive for more than two months. Also, these players have proposed to introduce the “safe custody” facility for such users, wherein the annual fee could be between Rs 300 and Rs 600.

The operators have put forward their individual views as well. For example, RCOM has stated that non-usage of the current 10 digit mobile numbers for long periods may mean that operators would have to shift to 11 digit numbers. Meanwhile, RCOM has been actively terminating inactive users from its network-about 21 million between July and December, 2012.

Similarly, Bharti Airtel has suggested that a mobile connection may be left inactive for a year and could be renewed after six months. Once the customer begins using the connection during the “safe custody” period, the service will be deactivated automatically and the customer will not be refunded.  Further, the operator has said that consumers ought to be permitted to activate the number via a recharge voucher.

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