After Vodafone, telecom service provider Airtel intends to use Aadhaar (unique identity number) for providing mobile phone connections. There are nearly 21 crore people with Aadhaar numbers in the country. The Director General and Mission Director of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) R.S Sharma told Business Line that, “We have discussed this issue with Airtel. They are most likely to start the project in Delhi.” Airtel official confirmed that a proposal was sent. “Now, the Department of Telecommunication is studying whether Aadhaar can be used for address verification or not. Once satisfied, it will issue a notification facilitating operators to use it.”
Vodafone is already accepting Aadhaar cards in Andhra Pradesh. It has deployed Aadhaar-enabled KYC (Know Your Customer) services at two stores, one each in Hyderabad and Vijaywada and accept it as proof of identity before issuing a new SIM card. There are special computers in the stores on which Aadhaar-enabled CAF (customer acquisition form) applications have been uploaded. These are connected to biometric devices. To establish one’s identity, an Aadhaar-letter holder is expected to provide biometric proof along with demographic information at the time of subscriber verification. A new SIM card is issued only after successful Aadhaar authentication.