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Trai asks telcos for list of disconnected numbers to enable clean up of databases by banks, others

New Delhi: Trai on Thursday asked telcos to submit, on a monthly basis, lists of permanently disconnected mobile numbers on the authority's website in a bid to enable companies which use subscriber mobile numbers for identification and authentication to keep their systems updated.

The latest move by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is aimed at ensuring that banks, insurance companies and others would have a ready list (without names) of mobile numbers that are disconnected. This, in turn, will prevent service delivery platforms from using those numbers for any authentication purpose, say through one time password.

"And whereas a mobile number, when surrendered or permanently disconnected, after a certain time period gets re-allocated to some other customer, but many service delivery platforms/ systems are not updated by the earlier customer, who may either not be using the service regularly and hence do not find a reason to update his mobile number, or due to lack of awareness of potential danger due to mobile number reuse, thus creating huge potential of an identity/profile take over on re-allocation of a mobile number," Trai said in a statement.

There is no platform/system available by which banks and other stakeholders can get the information about permanently disconnected numbers and deregister them.

"...therefore, in order to make available the Mobile Number Revocation List (MNRL) to the stakeholders for transparency and efficiency and to enable the interested parties to clean up their databases thereby not sending one time password etc. to someone other than their customer...," Trai added.

MNRL, the digitally-signed list of permanently disconnected mobile numbers, would be published on Trai's website every month, allowing various agencies to independently download and easily clean up their database using their own workflows, it said.

For instance, it said, a bank could download the list, check each number and if it is one of their customers', they can flag it and let the customer update with a currently-operated number.

"...authority will devise an automated process requiring no manual intervention, wherein a link would be provided, where telecom service providers shall upload the latest MNRL on a monthly basis and banks and other stakeholders may download the same in a convenient way," Trai said.

It asked respective user agencies to follow stipulated norms issued by the respective regulators and government departments while using the said numbers.

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