Google India Removes eSIM Apps Airalo & Holafly After DoT Directive

Navigating Regulatory Waters: The Delisting of eSIM Apps Airalo & Holafly in India


In a recent development, Google India has taken down the eSIM apps Airalo and Holafly from the Play Store, complying with a directive from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The move comes as the DoT issued a directive against the platforms for allegedly selling international SIM cards without the necessary clearances.

Details of DoT Directive: According to sources reported by Moneycontrol, the DoT has taken a firm stance against Airalo and Holafly, citing violations related to the sale of international SIM cards without proper authorizations. This directive not only led to the removal of the apps from the Play Store but also included orders for internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to the websites of these two companies.

ISPs Instructed to Block Access: As part of the DoT’s crackdown, ISPs have been instructed to restrict access to the websites of Airalo and Holafly. This action aims to curb any further unauthorized sales of international SIM cards by these platforms. The move underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring that telecom services comply with regulatory requirements, safeguarding consumers’ interests and maintaining the integrity of the telecommunications sector.

DoT’s Reach Extends to Apple: In addition to instructing Google to remove the apps from the Play Store, the DoT has reportedly reached out to Apple, requesting the removal of Airalo and Holafly from its India app marketplace. This multi-pronged approach indicates the government’s determination to address the issue comprehensively and enforce compliance across various platforms.

Implications for eSIM Providers: The delisting of Airalo and Holafly from the Play Store highlights the increasing scrutiny on eSIM providers, necessitating adherence to regulatory frameworks. The incident serves as a reminder for companies operating in the telecommunications space to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and obtain the required clearances before offering services in a given market.


The DoT’s directive and Google’s subsequent removal of Airalo and Holafly from the Play Store emphasize the regulatory challenges faced by eSIM providers in India. As the telecommunications landscape evolves, adherence to regulatory norms becomes paramount for businesses seeking to operate in this dynamic sector. The incident also underscores the collaborative efforts between government bodies and tech platforms to maintain a secure and compliant digital ecosystem.

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