7 Million Mobile Connections Blocked in Pakistan

Geo News has reported that that, all Mobile phone companies of Pakistan have collectively blocked 7 millions SIMs in one shot, which were either un-registered or were associated with fake information.

This is really a big blow on Pakistan’s Telecom sector; 7 million mobile phone connections going dead in a single go is maybe the largest ever blockage of cellular SIMs in the world. These numbers of SIMs counted as 8.23 percent of the total running connections in Pakistan.

Absence of 7 Million cellular customers will cause heavy losses to mobile companies; estimates say that this loss could reach as high as Rs. 10 Billion per month.

Zubair Kasuri, reporting for ‘Geo News’ said that senior officials from all cellular companies, Mobilink, Ufone, Telenor, Warid Telecom, CMPak, have confirmed that they have carried out this action of blocking the said amount of SIMs. Quoting officials from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Mr. Kasuri said they have also confirmed the compliance of unregistered SIM blockage. He further said that the process of blocking the un-registered SIM will continue until the last un-registered SIM will be blocked in the country.

Now cellular costumers in the country have dropped down to 78 million, after today’s action.

Zubair Kasuri further revealed that a meeting has been called upon in PTA headquarters, Islamabad, where CEO’s of all cellular companies are gathering to further finalize the future action plan.

While quoting a senior official of a cellular company, Mr. Kasuri said that cellular companies will exert pressure to cut down or remove this tax of Rs. 20 per SIM verification by NADRA.

It merits mentioning here, that NADRA charges Rs. 20 for each number’s verification from cellular companies. Now there is another question if NADRA’s data is authentic enough to be relied upon?

Earlier on there were news on ARY, Dawn and Daily Times that the decision for blocking the connections was left pending until May 31st, 2008.

Update: In ‘Daily Jang’ (May 24th, 2008) Ibrar Mustafa has reported that cellular companies, PTA and Ministry of information Technology have agreed on a point that from July 1st, 2008 all new mobile connections will be activated only after verification. That means, current pre-active SIMs will be no more available in the market.

Update: Today (May 24th, 2008) one of my friend working at Mobilink Call center told me that there was not a single complain regarding the blockage of SIMs. Apparently, either cellular companies didn’t block these SIMs or they blocked their in-active SIMs just to meet the formalities… Who knows!

Update: Dawn today (June 1st 2008) reported that cellular companies have blocked 5.6 million unregistered SIMS, and that the cellular companies need 3 to 4 weeks in order to completely kill all unregistered SIMs.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

    • I wud suggest, just try to check how many sims are issued on your name,u will be surperised to find may of such sims activated and running.

  • If really it happnes (7 millions SIMs blocked), it is really a good action. Telecom sector informed to the nation through advertisements and they should register themselves.They didn’t, hence good action is been taken by telecom sector. Appreciating PTA action in this regard.

    Amjad Shamim

  • Amjad Shamim, thank you for dropping your valuable comments, yea everyone should take notice of advertisements, and get their SIMs registered…

  • Well, I certainly don’t think that the estimated figures ov loss would be true. Most ov them are probably not the active users, so it might not make a difference anyways…

    While I do agree thats its a big crackdown but its probably not gonna cause any serious damage to anyone.

    Also the fact that SIMs were sold so cheap, and without meeting any formal requirements it was so easy for people to try out different connection types. I recall seeing ufone SIMs being sold as Buy One & Get One Free… and the guys who actually had a SIM from every provider.

    So my understanding is that most of the blocked connection would be inactive anyways. coz though who really wanted to use it must have tried registering it :) … not all though

  • ooops I missed writing that when warid launched their services in pakistan they offered free sims to all bank al falah customers. I got few which I never used.

    I told the wonder lady that I may not need them and she said well its free anyways, you can have them with you and activate them whenever you like and if you like, and I didn’t like saying NO “,)

  • Hi im frm multan.Am using an unregistered Telenor djuice sim.These dayz im having ma 2nd year exams.So i didnt have the time to reg my sim till May 24th (deadline by pta).My Sim is not yet blocked neither i got any msg frm tnr.
    When i call on Pta toll free number 090055055 the op said that the new deadline to register the sims is till 31st May.So Hurry Guys register ur sims now.

  • Gem, thanks for your comments…Actually, the problem started when PTA was ignoring the sales policies of cellular companies, in fact Chairman PTA had been allegedly in a deal with all cell phone companies and he made some money out of the issue.

    I understand that it was never possible without PTA allowing them to do so

  • Aamir Attaa Saab,
    I am wondering why these telecom companies are not focusing towards rural areas of Pakistan? Associated areas of Mansehra like New Darband, Lassan Nawab etc (those are not so far from Mansehra, just 2, 3 Hours drive) but they don’t have mobile facility even in this big era of competition. I am converting the attention of Marketing Managers of telecom companies to KINDLY (at least) conduct survey from these areas and they will find large consumer market over there. Please focus and again I am saying “SERVE THE NATION” beyond earning profit……………….

    Amjad Shamim

  • Amjad you are right here, in fact 85 million SIMs that are reportedly sold, covers only 12 percent coverage of Pakistan. And possibly (i am not sure here) half of these SIMs are either not active or they are not the primary numbers; leaving behind only 30-35 million Mobile users.

    So the potential is there, and the way saturation we are reaching in cities, companies should focus on rural areas too. I am sure thinktanks must be keenly looking into prospects in this regards

  • Dear Sir,
    Sir main apni sim khulwana chahta hoon. app se iltaja hai keh aap iss baray main meri help karain. meri sim (two)bar block ho ghai hai.
    My Mobile No are as under:0308-3108616

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