Deadline for biometric system for mobile phone Sims revised
LAHORE: The federal government has revised the deadlines for the implementation of biometric verification system for cell phones in Pakistan, The News has learnt.
According to the revised plan, the government has asked cellular service providers to procure and roll out the biometric devices in all companies-owned customer services centres and franchises by November 30, 2013 in Karachi and December 20, 2013 across Pakistan. Earlier, the deadline was October 6, 2013.
The system must be ready in Karachi by February 20, 2014, according to the second phase of the revised schedule.Industry sources said the government departments were behind the delay since the industry had done all its homework to meet the deadlines set by the government.
They said that they were already prepared for the execution of the biometric verification system in the country, understanding the security issues faced by Pakistan.A source said that almost all players had procured the required biometric verification equipment – each of which costs $90 to $120.
Since the deployment is costly, the industry has demanded CAPEX funding from the government and the government agreed on, he said, adding a single operational device will cost a company about $400.
The device is handheld and the company’s staff can operate it without much training, he said. The device is powered by Android and connected with the database of the National Database and Registration Authority so that a customer’s thump or finger impression can be cross-verified.
An official said the test run of the biometric verification is to be done soon after the Ashura holidays. He said operators are desperate to conduct the test trial and remove the bottlenecks well before the new deadlines set by the government.