January 8, 2024Anmol Nagpal

Google, Apple ban 2 e-SIM apps

Google and Apple have removed two e-SIM offering apps, Airalo and Holafly, from the Indian version of their Play Store and App Store respectively.

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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has also asked ISPs to block access to the websites of these apps in India.

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Companies need to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the DoT to begin selling eSIMs in India, according to media reports.

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Singapore-based Airalo and Spain-based Holafly have been removed as the two companies did not possess the necessary authorisation.

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In addition, the DoT rules stipulate that eSIMs can only be sold through authorised dealers, who must ask customers for proof of identity such as a passport copy or visa before providing the SIM card.

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Authorised sellers must also provide details of these global SIMs to security agencies.

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Why were the two apps banned in India? Government sources quoted that fraudsters have been using eSIMs with international phone numbers to commit cybercrime in India.

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A media report stated that while Airalo and Holafly have been shut down, other similar eSIM providers like Nomad eSIM and aloSIM are still available in India.

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According to the latest NCRB report, cybercrime cases in India increased by 24.4 per cent in 2022, with 65,893 cases registered compared to 52,974 cases registered in the previous year.

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