COAI urges DoT to extend breather on subscriber verification, EMR audits

New Delhi, Mar 26 () Industry body COAI has urged the government to further extend the relaxation granted recently on audit process for subscriber verification and Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) to the full duration of countrywide lockdown, instead of March-end deadline.

The Department of Telecom on Monday had said that due to the unforeseen situation in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, "it has been decided that the audit process conducted by LSA (Licenced service area) field units in respect of EMR and subscriber verification (customer acquisition form) shall be kept in abeyance till March 31, 2020".

The telecom department had also stated that "registration and testing related to roll out obligations of telecom service providers shall also remain suspended till March 31, 2020".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown of the entire country for 21 days in an unprecedented move to halt the spread of the pandemic shortly after which the Centre said all road, rail and air services will remain suspended during this period.

COVID-19 has claimed 13 lives in the country and infected 649 people in India. Fears are mounting that more could be hit as the global coronavirus toll crossed 21,000.

Cellular Operators'' Association of India (COAI) has now written to the DoT saying that in view of the lockdown announced, the timeline on the stipulated audits need to be extended, accordingly.

"...this needs to be extended till the period of the lockdown. Would request for a revised letter in this regard," COAI, Director General, Rajan Mathews said in a communication to the DoT.

"We would also request Department of Telecom that any further extensions/reliefs given by DoT should mention that it would be effective till the period of the lockdown instead of mentioning any specific date," COAI said. MBI BAL
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