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Over $60 Million Expenditure Swallowed by Telcos for SIM Re-Verifications

On Saturday 14th of March, 2015 PTA (Pakistan telecommunication Authority) arranged a special press conference at Marriot Islamabad, where PTA Chairman Dr. Ismail Shah and heads of all Telcos operating in Pakistan were present. This particularly event was staged by PTA in the light of enlightening viewpoint regarding on-going vigorous SIM re-verification drive in the country from the past 2 months.

Over $60 Million Expenditure Swallowed by Telcos for SIM Re-Verifications

Talking to media person’s heads of all five telecom operators functioning in Pakistan at this occasion informed that as per only rough estimate – $60 million are being spent for the ongoing mobile SIM’s re-verification drive in the country by all Telco’s. Operator’s officials further told that they have installed 80,000 biometric machines all over the country for this verification course and each one of the device cost about $350. They also stated that this was one of its kind hefty deployments of biometric devices anywhere in the world for a sole purpose.

Furthermore, this is not it – as Telco’s also recruited thousands of employees dedicatedly for this SIM’s re-verification drive in the country. Michael Foley, CEO Telenor Pakistan said that his company invested millions of dollars in this verification process solely besides hired 3,600 people too – for SIM’s re-verification practice.

On the other hand, countries largest telecom operator Mobilink official claimed that operator has invested 15$ million. Further, informed the crowd that Mobilink has also arranged fleet of 700 vehicles, which is roaming in towns and cities all across the country to persuade people to re-verify their Mobilink SIM’s on spot.

Nevertheless, the CEO’s of all five telecom operators working in the country reassured that they will not spare any single non-biometric registered subscriber unverified, though they have abide huge loss due to this prolonged progression. They also affirmed that they will quite gleefully conclude this verification drive as part of the Pakistan Govt assert against terrorism – since it is a significant way forward for the safety of the nation in future.

Keep in mind that the stats cited above are only those mentioned by Telco’s of the country, excluding the charges paid by the millions of subscribers – at the time of their mobile SIM’s biometric re-verification aptitude.

As we all are now aware that this SIM biometric registration process was triggered by all five telecom operator of the country to verify all non biometric registered 103 Million SIM issued in Pakistan in the past. This was a forceful directive ordered by Govt of Pakistan to PTA to carry-out this SIM verification drive in the county, as part of the national action plan formulated after deadly APS Peshawar terror incident took place on December, 16, 2014.

As Govt firstly announced the 90 days deadline for this verification process ended on 26th February, 2014 and for the reason that whole chunk of over 103 Million SIM’s was not successfully re-verified PTA extended the deadline to 12 April, 2015. Now as per current standing of the verification drive when over 75% mobile SIM has been verified through biometrically concern authorities are hopeful that he remaining SIM’s will also be get verified till this final deadline ends.