Operators want to be allowed to sell sim cards over the Internet

Operators want to be allowed to sell sim cards over the Internet

Moscow. 23 Jan. Operators from 2019 may be able to enter into contracts with subscribers to provide communication services through automated devices and in electronic form, follows from the amendments to the law “On communication”, which examined “Interfax”.

This will allow operators to verify the accuracy of information about subscribers not only on the identity document, but also through a unified system of identification and authentication (ESIA), a qualifying electronic signature, the upsp and with the help of connection systems government agencies, including the system of interagency electronic interaction (SMEV).

Operators will also be required to confirm the accuracy of the information about its subscribers until the end of 2018. To do this, operators of public information systems, including databases of the Pension Fund of Russia (PFR) and the Federal Fund OMS (FFOMS), until 31 March 2017 will have gratis to provide operators with access to these systems.

The bill could open up for mobile operators an alternative source of distribution of sim cards, including to receive applications and to verify subscriber information remotely, for example, through the portal of public services. “Then the sim card can be delivered by courier, mail or other means”, – said a source familiar with the text of the bill.

“The measure reduces the overhead of the distribution and gives the possibility of new subscribers. In the future, this norm will be able to stimulate use of the database operators for other stories, help the government and business, such as the identification of callers when holding mass events”, – he added.

Sources in the telecommunications market referred to several developers of the bill. One of them claims that the amendments developed by the working group with participation of operators at the site of Roskomnadzor. According to another interlocutor of the Agency, in drafting the bill involved the interior Ministry, which, together with Roskomnadzor is engaged in suppression of illegal sales of sim cards. In 2016 819 conducted such activities, seized 28.5 thousand sim-cards. In Roskomnadzor has not commented on the bill, the interior Ministry did not respond to a request.

According to the document, operators will be obliged to check received from customers-legal entities of information about the end users of the services. Currently, the communications act does not stipulate the obligation to check is the end-user corporate customers operators. This gives rise to the problem of so-called “cell farms” – dealers of unregistered sim cards that are bulk buying contracts from operators. The latter take into account the “collective” as a corporate customer, however, to establish end-user services is often impossible.

Fines and a mandatory fee for the sim card

For the provision of communication services in the absence of reliable information about the subscriber in the billing system operators could face a fine of 200-300 thousand rubles. The failure to present the operator a list of end users of telecommunications services legal entities may face a fine of 50-70 thousand rubles, individual entrepreneurs – 40-50 thousand rubles. Such penalties are proposed to be codified in the Code of administrative offences (Cao).

In addition, the bill establishes the obligation of operators to charge a fixed fee of 100 rubles for the issuance of sim cards to subscribers. The current law provides only that such fees may not exceed 100 rubles. This allows dealers “grey” sim card to carry out free distribution of the contracts, including without identifying the subscribers.

“It’s an economic measure, it should work against the distributors of sim cards, which they hand out on the street. Because they are not acting on behalf of the operator, the spread of such sim cards will be unprofitable due to the fact that further will be charged 100 rubles, which will not be included in the account. This economic measure is to reduce the sale of sim cards on the street” – believes a source in one of operators.

For the distribution of sim cards without authority from the operator individuals will be fined for 2-5 thousand rubles fine, legal persons – 100-200 thousand rubles.

For the illegal sale of sim cards of foreign citizen or person without citizenship is planned to introduce a penalty 50-60 thousand roubles with confiscation of sim cards, as well as administrative arrest up to 15 days with exclusion for limits of the Russian Federation.

A similar rule now applies to dealers who act on behalf of the operator, but fails to fulfil the requirements about entering data about subscribers. “That is, it was assumed that this rule would apply to those sales representatives, who actually has a contract with the operator, and thus they do not comply with some requirements in order of conclusion of subscriber contracts. In practice, the distribution of sim cards without any contracts with operators, this is such a vacuum. And in relation to such sellers responsibility to not be applied as they are not representatives of the operator. Therefore, to solve this problem is planned to introduce additional responsibility for the distribution of sim cards to persons without authority from the operator,” said a source close to the drafting of amendments.

Finally, the operators from 2019 will be able to provide services to subscribers only after the appearance in their billing systems data about users. “The provision of services of mobile telephone communications, data transmission services and access to the Internet using identification modules (sim cards) mobile operators shall be allowed only after adding information about individuals (the caller or the communication service) in the database of the payment system operator”, – the document says. This rule is also aimed at combating the proliferation of sim cards outside the offices of Telecom operators and their authorized partners, said the source.

The representatives of PJSC “VimpelCom”, JSC “Mobile TeleSystems” (MTS) and OJSC “MegaFon” has not commented on questions about the bill.