The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said that about two million pre-paid mobile connections are not active, out of which about 55 million have remained unused for about six months. The country had 907 million mobile phone connections as of the end of September, 2012, according to TRAI, more than one-fifth of these connections are inactive.
TRAI has also proposed to put up some guidelines in place to disconnect non- active connections and free up the bulk of these numbers for reuse.
The regulator also said that it is of the view that the industry needs some uniform standards for disconnection, since operators use different parameters. Many telecom operators cut off their unused mobile connections after about 30 days, while others have a 90-day deadline for disconnection.
TRAI will also mention what constitutes usage. Some of the mobile operators said that their customers will have to make at least one call to keep their numbers active, while other mobile phone companies disconnect if customers fail to activate a recharge voucher within the prescribed time frame. The telecom department had abandoned its plans to move to 11-digit numbers, but decided to create additional capacity in the 7 and 8 series.