PTA plans to develop SIM information system -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PTA plans to develop SIM information system

By Muhammad Yasir

KARACHI: Pakistan Telecomm-unication Authority (PTA) has decided to develop a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) information system to address associated risks on security and to ensure subscription regulations in cellular sector, official sources told.

The system will gather all mobile subscribers data that would provide their numbers of SIM(s) registered against with their respective Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers and with cellular phone operators of the country.

Analysts of the telecom said the cellular operators’ offers of different calls and SMS packages have attracted subscribers to use more than one SIM of different cellular phone operators. The regulator has allowed 10 connections on single CNIC per mobile operator. It has also blocked 2.92 million excess connections last year.

Therefore, the security concerns raises where a SIM registered under one subscriber(s) is being used by another un-identified user. Moreover, sector people told a significant number of subscribers avoid using companies connections and missed the validity dates of connection. They have to re-activate their connections later on often when companies offer free minutes in the case of non-use of the SIM for long time.

According to PTA, the planned system would facilitate mobile subscribers to block those SIM(s) which presently are not under their usage.

Official sources informed PTA intends to develop robust system, which is secure and efficient enough to store a record size of approx 92 million subscribers’ data. The system should also ensure proper data integrity mechanism while answering back to multiple queries in a specific time. The authority has started hiring of consultancy firm to develop SIM information system, which may take six month roll out in the public.

It has intended to develop software-based system that would provide an Internet and SMS based interface to end-users in order to retrieve the registered mobile SIM(s) information. In order to facilitate the consumer, an SMS based system would also be developed empowering consumer to use his mobile phone for accessing required information. The system would provide the ability to send and receive SMS against a pre-defined short code.

SMS based information system will handle all request that comes through any mobile device. A comprehensive SMS based information system is required that could provide the consumer with the mobile number information against the CNIC number. The cellular phone subscribers base has widened to touch 100 million benchmark, however, its density has remained concentrated in 25 to 30 cities. Telecom experts said the information system also assists PTA to know the teledensity of the cities and the traffic volumes of calls and SMS across the country.

Source: Daily Times

Date:6/10/2009