Published on October 13th, 2008 | by Babar Bhatti19
Major Changes To SIM Registration Process, 10.5 million Unverified Mobile Connections Blocked
While many numbers and policies have been floating around for the unverified SIM issue, PTA has issued a new statement which I am sharing here. As we know this has been one of the most difficult issues for the industry. A few big changes announced:
- The control of sale /verification will shift from Franchisee/Retailers to Mobile Companies
- No more than 10 connections against single person (CNIC)
Not only has it required a change in the way business has been done but it also has made an impact on the revenues and that too in an already difficult economic and business environment. This shows how important it is to craft thoughtful policies at the beginning. Any mess that you try to fix after it is in the market takes a much longer time and effort.
Chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Dr. Mohammed Yaseen presided over a high level meeting of Chief Executive Officers of all Mobile Companies on 7th October, 2008 to discuss the progress of different deadlines given by PTA for blocking of unregistered SIMs, blocking of more than 10 connections on single CNIC and on the proposed project for activation of SIMs After verification.
Chairman PTA showed great concerns on the outcome of recently concluded survey of franchisee and retailers done jointly by PTA and Mobile Companies. The results showed violation of Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) on verification by franchisees and retailers. He further emphasized that PTA may take stern action against the Mobile Companies on the basis of these violations.
The meeting was informed that after considerable efforts total 10.5 million connections have been blocked so far. In first phase connections sold uptill 30th April, 2008 have got verified through NADRA. More than 7.3 million connections found unverified have been blocked. In the second phase, PTA is endeavoring to clean subscriber’s data of connections sold from 1st May, 2008 to 30th May, 2008. Uptill now a total of 0.6 million connections which remained unverified have been blocked.
SOP on verification also binds the Mobile Companies to block more than 10 connections against single CNIC. Mobile companies were asked to block additional connections by 30th September, 2008. Uptill now 2.6 million of extra connections have been blocked.
Chairman PTA further informed the CEOs that a considerable improvement has been seen in the verification process, however PTA feels that unless sale of Pre-active SIMs are not stopped, full implementation on the SOP will not be possible. The meeting discussed in detail the proposed system under which company will sell non activated SIMs and Mobile companies will activate the SIM after verification of subscriber’s antecedents from NADRA. The proposed system will have number of advantages like; The control of sale /verification will shift from Franchisee/Retailers to Mobile Companies; It will have added security parameters and being automated will be more reliable.
Since this is new concept which requires considerable operational and administrative arrangements, therefore Chairman PTA formulated a working group of Cellular Mobile Companies, NADRA and PTA to propose workable solution so that all aspects of verification is catered, by 20th October 2008.