Parliament Approves Telecommunications Bill, 2023

A Game-Changer for Mobile Users in India
Parliament Approves Telecommunications Bill

Parliament Approves Telecommunications Bill

21 December 2023, New Delhi

The Indian Parliament's recent approval of the Telecommunications Bill, 2023 marks a significant milestone in the country's efforts to modernise its century-old telecom laws. The bill, designed to replace the archaic Indian Telegraph Act of 1885 and the Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1933, brings about several crucial reforms. As the bill awaits the President's assent to become law, let's delve into the key provisions and explore the five major impacts it will have on mobile users in India.

Stringent Measures Against Fraud and Cheating

The new Telecom Bill introduces strict penalties for obtaining a SIM or other telecom resources through fraudulent means. Offenders could face imprisonment of up to three years and fines as high as ₹50 lakh. This move is aimed at curbing identity-related crimes and ensuring a more secure telecom environment.

Combatting SIM Card Spoofing

The bill addresses the growing concern of SIM card spoofing or cloning, a practice that poses serious security risks. Major telecom players like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea have already cautioned their subscribers about the dangers of SIM card cloning. The Telecom Bill 2023 empowers authorities to take decisive action against such criminal activities.

User Consent for Advertising Messages

Under the new legislation, mobile users will now have more control over their inboxes. Consent will be mandatory for receiving advertising and promotional messages, providing users with the ability to manage their preferences and reduce unsolicited communication.

Protection of Correspondents' Messages

The bill includes provisions to safeguard the privacy of press messages from accredited correspondents. Unless there are prohibitions due to public emergencies or order concerns, messages will not be intercepted or detained. This reinforces the importance of protecting the freedom of the press in the digital age.

Biometric Data for New Connections

Telecom operators are now mandated to capture verifiable biometric data when issuing new connections. This measure enhances user verification processes and adds an extra layer of security to the issuance of telecom services.


The Telecommunications Bill, 2023, heralds a new era for India's telecom sector, bringing about comprehensive reforms to address the evolving challenges in the digital landscape. While the bill has received applause from industry bodies, concerns have been raised by privacy advocates and some members of the opposition. As the country awaits the President's approval, the telecom industry anticipates a more secure and regulated environment that aligns with the dynamic needs of the digital age.

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