Prime Minister, Raja Parvez Ashraf has directed the Ministry of Information and Technology (MoIT) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to devise a proper SIM verification procedure in collaboration with telecom operators, Daily Times reports. The authorities are instructed to work on the issue and have it resolved by March 7, 2013.
Telecom operators conveyed to the Prime Minister that the SIM verification procedure was taking longer than expected and that they needed more time to have it completed and that they would not be able to deliver it within the given deadline. It is to be noted that the telecom operators had given a deadline to its customers of December 31, 2012 to have their SIMs verified or else the connections of unverified SIMs would be terminated. Up till now no such step has been taken but if you have 5 SIMs on your name already, you cannot buy a new SIM.
This SIM verification procedure is for the existing connections of the telecom operators. Authentication and verification procedure for new SIMs is being augmented by NADRA’s Biometric Verification System for which the telecom operators have already been given a deadline of three months.
The cellular operators informed the Prime Minister that the SIM sales and distribution had stopped at all retail outlets except at their business offices. But this seems not to be entirely true. Earlier with 80,000 retail outlets throughout the country, the rate of SIM sales was more as compared to now and the operators are now also trying to operate procedures like online SIM booking and home delivery. Promotional vehicles of the companies are also reported to have been spotted in some cities, selling SIMs to their customers.