Planning Beyond 789 for Foolproof Industry

Recently launched 789 system will prove itself as a master solution against all frauds related to cellular phones and unregistered SIMs. Many will agree with me that 789 will completely eliminate the chances of illegal SIMs. Though possibilities of SIM displacements and then its use for criminal activities will remain there but authorities can reach the legitimate owner and consequently the culprits easily.

At this point of time we can feel ourselves safe from mobile phone fraudulent and criminal activities but one should not forget those 90 million connections operating in the country, which were issued through old system. I am sure regulator and operators will shout at me, for raising another issue while they just concluded the successful launch of 789, for them my message is that I do realize the efforts, time and money you have spent, but thinking forward is nothing bad and will add value to our industry, society and country equally.

So the point is to not forget those already active connections and hope PTA will keep blocking un-registered numbers as it had been doing in past. We know that PTA has blocked as many as 11 million connections till now.

By the way, in order to make the system perfect regulator may consider (after industry consultation) the re-registration of all those numbers which were active on January 31st, 2009. For the purpose, we can go phase wise, that is setting deadlines for customers for re-registration of cellular numbers by city or by code (such as 0300 first, and then 0301 and so on), or even by series (like 0301-60 in first session and then 0300-61 and so on).

It is not that current verification system (for old SIMs) is not reliable, but industry suggests that there are instances of un-registered SIMs that are active and running.

Re-registering all connections will not be first of its kind practice, this has happened before in Bangladesh where they managed to re-register almost all of their cellular customers.

Hope we are looking beyond 789 for foolproof solution and a better performing industry, while the regulator is focused at its agenda and efforts.

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

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