Jio, Vi, Airtel, BSNL Ordered to Stop SMS Facility on New SIM Cards for One Day



Indian telecom operators, including Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea (Vi), Bharti Airtel and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), have received a new order from DoT (Department of Telecommunications). According to the new order, all the above-mentioned telcos would have to stop the SMS facility on a new SIM (subscriber identification module) for 24 hours or one day from its issue. But this is only when the case is of SIM swapping or SIM replacement. The order from DoT says that both incoming and outgoing SMS facilities on the new SIMs which have been swapped or replaced should be stopped. Now, there’s a strategic reason behind this.

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DoT Order to Telcos for Barring SMS on New SIMs Swapped or Replaced for 24 Hours is to Protect Users

The DoT order which has just come in is to protect the users. If you are wondering how, let me explain. Fraudsters can get access to your personal details through phishing calls. The phishing calls can generate enough data for the fraudsters for them to be able to get your SIM deactivated by putting in swapping or replacement requests. If they are able to get your SIM swapped successfully, then you will lose access to network services.

In addition, the fraudsters will then have access to all the SMS details which arrive post the swap. This includes important OTPs (one-time passwords) for online banking and more. Thus, the order to bar SMS facilities for 24 hours on SIM swap or replacement scenarios is a step in the right direction from the government.

The government has ordered the telcos to implement the instructions within 15 days. The telcos should likely not have any problems in implementing the order as it shouldn’t hurt their business interests in any manner.