PTA launches drive to update SIMs database
By Muhammad Yasir
KARACHI: Pakistan Telec-ommunication Authority (PTA) in collaboration with cellular phone operators kicked off another drive to update millions of subscribers’ data by registering their SIMs on Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) that were obtained on old identity cards.
The cellular sector will face yet another phase of correction in subscribers’ base in the upcoming months with the blocking of unregistered and unused SIMs as it witnessed in the drive “SIM Information System-668, which was launched in October 2009 and is still underway. Analysts in the telecom sector pointed out that the subscribers in millions got their SIMs registered on old identity cards particularly before 2,000 will need to update their database with the companies.
They added millions of other users would also need to revise their SIMs and identity card records with the companies acquired postpaid and prepaid connections during 2004-06 when the cellular phone sector witnessed significant addition in the subscribers’ base on the falling SIMs rates and increasing competition. The regulator estimated millions of SIM issued after 2004, which witnessed the robust growth in subscribers’ base, who were registered through misuse of NIC numbers with manual documentation. In 2005, users’ base witnessed more than a154 percent year-on-year growth with the addition of more than 7 million subscribers. Unlike the previous system, there is no way to check your SIMs whether it is registered on CNIC or old identity card. However, the cellular phone operators will notify the users to provide CNIC with the company to get the SIMs registered under the new system.
Accordingly, users will have to comply in 20 days after receiving SMS from the subscribed cellular phone company. Afterward, a follow-up SMS will be sent as a remainder and users will have 10 more days to get their SIMs registered and avoid blocking of connection. Also, the subscribers could also upgrade his/her database through companies’ customers call centres or respective service centres. Telecom analysts said the system is easier to use as compared to the previous SIM Information System-668, however, long queues can been seen on the services centres of the mobile phone companies as the telecom regulator and operation expedite the drive.
Source: Daily Times