Telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea Ltd, have informed the Telecom Department about their readiness to conduct proof of concept for the new ‘alternative digital KYC process’ at two locations, as stipulated.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has also issued the details of the procedure and modalities to be followed by telecom operators for issuing new mobile connections using the alternative digital KYC process.

PoC locations

According to a DoT circular dated November 6, Bharti Airtel has ensured “readiness to conduct PoC (proof of concept)” in Delhi and Meerut, while Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has identified two locations in Telangana for the same.

“The proof of concept of the.... alternative digital KYC process is to be done at two locations (rural and urban) by each licencee,” the DoT said.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has ensured its readiness to conduct PoC at two locations in Navi Mumbai, while Vodafone Idea has listed Delhi and Baramati in Pune district, according to the DoT. Other operators such as Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Tata Teleservices have also identified locations for the PoC.

Alternate digital KYC

As per the alternate digital KYC process proposed by the telecom industry for issuing new mobile connections, the customer acquisition form is to be embedded with live photograph of subscriber along with original proof of identification (PoI) and proof of address (PoA) document — digitising the end-to-end process for on-boarding of new mobile subscribers by making it completely paperless.

Spelling out the nuances of the alternative digital KYC procedure to be followed by telecom service providers, DoT said only two mobile connections will be provided per day per PoI, PoA document to a customer by the operator using the alternate digital KYC process.

It said that additional safeguards in the prevailing guidelines regarding outstation and foreign customers will also be followed in the new digital KYC process.

The Supreme Court in September restricted the use of Aadhaar authentication by private entities in the absence of a legal provision. On October 26, the DoT asked operators to stop using Aadhaar for electronic verification of existing mobile phone customers as well as for issuing new connections to comply with order of the apex court.