Telecom operators have been allowed to digitise customer application forms, a move that is expected to ease updation of subscribers’ data.
The provision also frees telecom operators from storing paper customer application forms (CAFs) in warehouses.
“Telecom service providers (TSPs) are permitted to store the digitally scanned coloured copies of the paper based CAF documents. Digitally scanned copies of the CAF documents must be maintained for all the active customers,” the Department of Telecom guidelines for digitisation of paper CAFs said on Monday.
The CAF documents comprise CAF along with proof of identity and address documents.
Telecom operators will have to store digitally scanned copies of CAF documents for a period of three years in case of migrated and disconnected subscribers.
“Paper CAF documents can be destroyed after digitisation unless directed otherwise by the licensor/law enforcement agencies/courts,” the guidelines said.
The current provision of storing paper CAF documents in warehouses of TSPs is dispensed with, and the warehouse audit of paper CAF documents is not required, DoT said.
Telecom industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General SP Kochhar said the nation is moving forward into a digital era, and these guidelines form part of a landmark decision that will assist telecom operators in maintaining and streamlining processes.
“It will result in the creation of an electronic database that will enable the ease of doing business, aid faster delivery of services and also eco-friendly initiative to have Digital CAFs,” Kochhar said.
Telecom CAFs are very important documents and penalties in the range of Rs 1,000-50,000 per form are imposed on telecom operators if there is any anomaly in the compliance with rules.