NADRA, cellular cos agree on SIM vetting procedure -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

NADRA, cellular cos agree on SIM vetting procedure

By Muhammad Yasir

KARACHI: National Database Regulatory Authority (NADRA) and cellular phone companies have finally agreed to share subscribers’ data at Rs 14 on the activation of each new connection, official sources told Daily Times.

The negotiations were underway for the said service but the agreement was delayed owing to the determination of service charges, official sources informed.

“We think that the rates offered by NADRA were exorbitant but finally both the parties have agreed on it,” an official of a cellular firm told Daily Times.

However, both the parties are yet to ink a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with only two days left in the date announced by PTA for the implementation of new system to activate Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), it is learnt.

Official sources in NADRA told the two authorities have been negotiating on some technical modalities, which would be resoled in a day.

They disclosed that PTA offered this rate to NADRA on the special request of interior ministry, which is the lowest in the market offered by the data base authority. NADRA charges Rs 15 to Rs 30 from banks for the verification of account holders’ data. NADRA sources said that the authority have made its system to share customer data with cellular firms’ call centers, enabling them to verify information within seconds.

The cellular firms sources expressed the concerns that the implementation of new process could be delayed because of the time required to shift from one system to another. “These impediments are only technical, as all other issues remained solved,” they added.

They told that the companies have received the policy draft just a couple of days and still studying the legal issues involved in the system.

PTA officials said that the regulators have issued guideline to cellular operators and they must follow them. They insisted that the new plan would be implemented from February 1, 2009.

As per new procedures, outlets, franchisees, retailers and mobile company customer service centers, will sell out the inactive SIMs. After the sale of inactive SIM has been made the customer will call the call-centre of mobile company at the number “789” from that SIM, which is a free call. Call centre representatives will ask a few questions to verify customer’s particulars. If the answers are correct the SIM will be activated.

Source: Daily Times

Date:1/30/2009