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Google Removes Airalo and Holafly Apps from Indian Play Store for Alleged Sale of International SIMs without Regulatory Clearances

Google has taken action against the apps Airalo and Holafly in its app store for Indian users due to their alleged sale of international SIMs without the necessary regulatory clearances. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) directed this move and has also urged internet service providers to block access to the websites associated with these apps. Both Airalo and Holafly, based in Singapore and Spain, respectively, specialize in offering eSIMs for various countries and regions, allowing users to activate mobile plans without relying on physical SIM cards.

To legally sell foreign SIM cards in India, companies are required to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the DoT. As Airalo and Holafly were found lacking the essential NOC or proper authorization, the DoT instructed both Apple and Google to remove these apps from their platforms. Discussions with Apple are currently ongoing to ensure continued compliance. While the apps have been delisted for Indian users on both Apple and Google platforms, they remain available in other geographical regions.

The regulatory policy governing the sale of international SIMs in India stipulates that entities intending to sell foreign SIM cards must acquire an NOC from the DoT. Furthermore, these SIM cards are explicitly designated for use outside the country, in accordance with the DoT's 2022 policy. Authorized sellers are obligated to authenticate customers by requesting copies of passports, visas, and additional proofs. Sellers are also mandated to provide details about global SIMs to security agencies on a monthly basis.


This action by Google aligns with regulatory standards and emphasizes the importance of compliance with local regulations, especially in the realm of telecommunications and mobile services. Such measures aim to ensure that the sale and use of international SIMs adhere to established legal frameworks, promoting security and accountability in the provision of telecommunication services.

Google Removes Airalo and Holafly Apps from Indian Play Store for Alleged Sale of International SIMs without Regulatory Clearances
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