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India tweaks rules for global roaming SIM cards - here's what you need to know

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The federal Indian government has revised the policy for issuance and renewal of No Objection Certificate (NOC) to companies that sell or rent out international roaming SIM cards and global calling cards of foreign operators in India. 

The move - a part of policy reforms in the sector - is to safeguard the interests of Indian telecom consumers travelling abroad, and also to streamline the procedures in line with the other licenses and registrations, the Telecom Department said in a press release. 

The change in policy is also to strengthen billing and consumer grievance redressal mechanism as Indians who buy these cards (for use in other countries) have been made to run for pillar to post in the event of complaints, which, as it happens, have been many.

Tightens the customer grievance redress mechanism

The NOC is issued to (telecom) companies and agencies that sell this roaming and global calling cards in India. As per the revised policy, the NOC-holders have to give out information regarding customer care service, contact details, escalation matrix, itemised bills, information related to tariff plans as well as services offered.

The new policy will facilitate time-bound grievance resolution by telecom companies, with provision for an appellate authority in the department.

The revised telecom policy also streamlines the application process, along with other procedures for the NOC-seekers in line with the other licenses or registrations in the DOT.

The revised policy has kicked into effect from January 14, 2022 and it was formulated after deliberations on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

In the last two years, the Indian government has focused on establishing firm customer redressal mechanism across industries. The government has already pushed its way through among social media companies and the OTT platforms to create reliable and workable systems for consumer protection.

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Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.