Soon, Mobile Users Can Switch between Prepaid and Postpaid via OTP

According to a official DoT note, the telecom department is going to consider COAI's request to allow for OTP based migration between prepaid and postpaid.

Hemant Kashyap
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An official DoT note indicated that soon, mobile subscribers can switch between prepaid and prepaid by using an OTP-based authentication. This system won't require a SIM card change, making the process much simpler.


Prepaid to Postpaid Migration Made Simpler

On April 9th, COAI had requested DoT permission to allow mobile users to migrate between prepaid and postpaid. COAI had also proposed a mechanism based on OTP authentication and removing the need of fresh KYC. In response, the department has asked telecom operators to carry out proof of concept (PoC) on the same.

DoT ADG Suresh Kumar, in a note dated May 21, said, "the PoC for conversion from prepaid to postpaid and vice versa may be carried out by the telecom service providers as per the procedure...The decision regarding implementation of the procedure shall be taken after the assessment of the outcome of the PoC".


The note said that OTP based authentication has become an acceptable norm in all sectors in the recent past.

Since OTP authentication has become the norm in most of the citizen centric services, DoT is aiming to promote contactless services. The telecom department believes that it will make it easy for the customer as well as the TSP.

The note also said that the final decision will depend on the outcome of PoC.


The Mechanism

The process charted by COAI involved the following steps:

  1. Mobile subscribers who want to change their existing mobile connection between prepaid and postpaid will send a request to their service provider via SMS, IVRS, website or authorised app.
  2. After the TSP receives the request, it will revert to the subscriber. The subscriber will get a message acknowledging the request for conversion of the mobile account along with a unique transaction ID and an OTP which will be valid for 10 minutes.
  3. If the OTP is verified successfully, the TSP will treat it as consent of the user. Afterwards, the telecom operator will inform them about the date and time from when the conversion will come into effect.

"The disruption of services, if any, during the said conversion shall not exceed 30 minutes," the DoT note said.

Under this facility, the SIM will remain with the customer and they don't have to change to a new SIM. Incidentally, more than 90% of all mobile subscribers use prepaid, but that could change if this facility is approved.

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