Dot extends deadline for re-verification to March 31

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Shillong, Jan 24 (PTI) The Department ofTelecommunication (DoT) has extended the deadline forre-verification of the customers of mobile service providersin Northeast to March 31.

The DoT had earlier asked the service providers tocomplete the exercise by January 19, but the deadline has beenextended to March 31, an official at the Maxis-controlledAircel said today.

However, industry sources said deadline was�secondary� and documentation issue was more important whichshould have been made simpler.

�The extension of the deadline would not benefitmuch,� the source said.

In the last couple of days, the region saw pre-paidmobile customers thronging to offices of various telecomservice providers in a desperate attempt to save their mobilenumbers from getting disconnected.

Since, none of the region-specific documents, likevoter ID card, domicile certificate, certificate from villageheadman or panchayat, are acceptable, it is feared that 80 percent of the rural subscribers will fail to produce therequired documents, and hence would go off the mobile loop.

Most of the customers neither have arms license, orbank account, or driving license or passport, and for thatmatter any of the documents required for identity and addressproof, as per the DOT notification.

North-East has around 20 million mobile subscribersand out of that, 85 per cent of them are pre-paid customers.

Since the later part of 2004, when pre-paidconnections were re-introduced after they were lifted for sometime, the license for pre-paid connections has been awarded onan annual basis in the Northeast.

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