No mobile connection to
foreign tourists for more than 3 months
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Tech2.com: New Delhi: As per guidelines that were made effective only
recently, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked service providers
to not provide mobile connections exceeding 3 months to foreign tourists in the
The guidelines further instruct service providers that while issuing a SIM card
to a foreign tourist, the latter's passport with a valid visa ought to be
considered as the proof. This move by the government, evaluated by the Union
Home Ministry, is in an attempt to curb the misuse of SIM cards issued to these
foreign nationals by locals, after the former depart from the country.
The guidelines read, "Any mobile connection issued to a foreigner should not
have a validity beyond the validity of the visa. In case of foreign tourist, the
validity of connection should not be beyond the visa period and also not exceed
three months at a time even if the validity of the visa is beyond three months."
Going further, the guidelines instruct that for the address proof of the foreign
national, the address of a local reference, including that of the tour operator,
shall be taken. In the absence of a local reference, the guidelines state that
the address of stay shall be taken.
The guidelines further add that as per the revised guidelines issued on filling
a Consumer Application Form (CAF), DoT has now made it compulsory for the
licensee to sign the form before the activation of the SIM card, thereby
certifying that the details submitted on the form is correct. It added further,
"The date of sale of SIM and activation of SIM is required to be established
from the entries in the CAF. For this purpose, entry of date is to be made with
the signature of subscriber at the time of filing of CAF."
Importantly, the fresh guidelines also provide for the connections issued to the
personnel deployed on ships. As per guidelines, the mobile connections issued to
them while at the sea shore would be valid only till the date they have the
permit to stay at the port.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Telecom Enforcement, Resource
and Monitoring (TERM) shall be provided with the list of connections that have
been issued to foreigners and such other short-term SIM cards, separately while
submitting monthly database.
Recent reports had indicated that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
is reportedly planning to approach the Commerce and Industry Ministry on the
issue of banning the import of phones with fake IMEI numbers.
An IMEI or International Mobile Equipment Identity number is a unique 15-digit
code that is assigned to a handset and is unique to GSM, WCDMA and iDEN mobile
phones as well as some satellite phones. To view the IMEI number of a handset,
dial *#06#. It works on most keypads. The IMEI number flashes on the operator's
network when a call is made and allows authorities to track users.
Of late, instances of IMEI cloning have been on the rise. Although cloning of
IMEI numbers is not commonplace yet in the case of CDMA handsets, instances of
cloning in the case of GSM handsets are aplenty. Mobile handsets with cloned
IMEI numbers cannot be tracked, making them a deterrent to national security.
( Courtesy: http://ibnlive.in.com )