The latest pondering state of affairs for Telecom Operators of Pakistan unearthed recently, in which all telecom companies have been assigned a task to re-verify all 103 Million non-biometric verified sims. This directive was given by the Federal Government of Pakistan headed for PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) to ensure this implication’s execution through all telecom operators working in the country. This performs a fraction of the NAP (National Action Plan) draft approved by all political parties for tackling terrorism forcefully with strict measures.
As we know that Govt introduced the NAP after barbaric APS Peshawar attack by the terrorists that took place on 16, December 2014. Therefore, among many other significant measures like establishment of Army Courts and this biometric re-verification (BVS) of all mobile sims issued before 1st, August 2014 was taken without ado. This step was taken keeping in mind the usage of non-verified mobile sims in heinous terror attacks in the country.
As soon as Govt gave orders to PTA, which is the telecom regulatory body in Pakistan, authority officials sat down with all five telecom operators (Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone, Warid, Zong) to ensure on-time scheduled re-verification of the entire chunk of non-registered mobile sims active in the country.
This biometric verification of mammoth 103 Million sims running in the country was also tagged with a deadline by the Govt – in which saying that verification to made in 90 days time.
Now the prescribed deadline for the biometric SIM re-verification is 26th, February 2015. As a result, if any customer is using the non-biometric verified sim, be clear that it will be blocked immediately as the deadline ends. Therefore, all mobile customers have been now regularly given intimations to visit their nearest Service Centers, Franchises or designated retailer shops with original CNIC to verify their mobile sim right away.
To ensure that each and every customer to be made aware of this fact that they are required to verify their mobile sim, intensive advertisement campaigns are being made. Both PTA and all Mobile Operators are busy in intimating their mobile phone customers to complete the sims’ re-verification process as soon as possible – to keep using their telecom services uninterruptedly.
In this regard, PTA has also published a dedicated ad in all national newspapers as well, in recent few days.
Devoted Support by Telecom Operators in the Past:
This is not the first time that telecom operators have shown their full support for the sim registration and verification process in Pakistan. In 2009 “668” and in 2011 “789” data verification processes were established for mobile customers by PTA, to register their sims. Telcos’ have had to bear substantial cut is new sim sales because of this activation condition for customers. But, telecom operators have always followed the legislation of Govt of Pakistan and PTA directions in the past, now also taking this current re-verification process as a national responsibility.
Moreover, back in 2014, upon the government’s command, all telecom operators of Pakistan established a bio-metric verification system (BVS) with spending about rupees 22 billion on it. This system was set up with the mechanism of over 60,000 BVS machines, installed all across the country. The system was state-of-the-art for verification of every new mobile sim purchased by the customer through a biometric system that was linked with NADRA’s (National Database and Registration Authority) system.
Huge Source of Revenue Generation for Govt:
As Pakistani telecom sectors have emerged as the “hen that lay golden egg” reason of this conjecture is apparent if we go through recent statistics regarding the amount of revenue telecom sector is providing to Government of Pakistan solely.
In the last three years contribution in Govt reserves from telecom sector is traced average of Rs. 124.8 billion per annum. Plus in last year with astonishing phenomenal raise during the fiscal year 2014, the telecom sector has given a record high Rs. 243.8 billion, with chronicle increase of 95.8 % during last year.
As the humongous figure of 103 Million sims is required to be re-verified through BVS, it looks a daunting task for telecom providers. No doubt it’s a vital step too by Pakistan Govt for ensuring that no dubious activities should be made through using unregistered sims in future.
However, according to reports, even after massive advertisements and intimations by PTA and all mobile operators, the turnover for sims re-verification all over the country is very slow. Therefore, in the current state of affairs, only the time will tell what will it be possible to verify all non-biometric verified sims in Pakistan.