Biometric Re-Verification of SIMs can Save Pakistan Billions of Dollars and Tons of Crimes

Pakistani SIMFool-proof re-verification of cellular subscribers will save telecom companies, Universal Service and Government of Pakistan around 88 million dollars a month or 1.05 billion dollars a year by curbing grey international incoming traffic.

In addition the re-verification will help seizing of tons of social crimes that are causing irreparable damage to society and the nation.

This is only possible if re-verification of entire cellular base of the country is carried out in a fool-proof manner, and without any leakages or flaws (probably the body responsible for development of system will have to keep continuous eye on loopholes).

It can be biometric re-verification, where each and every cell user will have to record his/her thumb impression to be able to use cellular services, or any other method that should cent percent guarantee the rightful ownership of each and every cell phone user.

As per estimates, there are around 1 billion illegal international minutes per month landing into Pakistan compared to 500 million legal traffic minutes per month, causing telcos a loss of around 63 million dollars a month plus a 25 million dollar per month loss to Universal Service Fund.

It merits mentioning here that each international incoming minute earns the telecom operators USD 0.0625 while another USD 0.029 is saved for Universal Service Fund.

Clearly a lot of revenue for government can also be saved through taxing this income.

It is no secret that entire illegal international telephony is routed through illegal and unregistered SIMs, which will become impossible if each and every SIM is tied with a human being through a bio-metric re-verification.

That is, once all the SIMs are registered to recognizable and traceable owners, there won’t be a way to route international incoming voice traffic to local networks.

Not only this, countless number of social crimes such as wrong and anonymous calls, SPAM messages, spreading scandals via MMS and fake rumours via SMS, fake lotteries, phone thefts, extortion, kidnapping and various other usual and unusual crimes will be harder to commit or tracking them will require only a single click.

If you imagine each and every crime mentioned in above line has become nuisance for our society. Consider how wonderful it could be to get rid of these.

Importantly, if you notice, I didn’t mention terrorism; that’s because terrorists will switch their communication channels to avoid identity. They may start using Viber, Whatsapp or maybe their in-house – self developed — apps for communication.

Our government and law enforcement agencies will have to figure out other ways to tackle terrorism instead of blaming the telecom industry. But yes, re-verification is necessary to avoid so many other mis-deeds of our society.

P.S. In addition to re-verification of cellular users, Vfone, worldcall and all other wireless operators should also re-verify their customers to attain up-mentioned results.

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

  • one day or the other! it has to be done! so y not now! Pakistan is going to remain! those who will not remain in Pakistan are the terrorists.

  • Even if the terrorists use different channels like Viber/Whatapp, it will still be possible to track them down through DPI & LI solutions which can then point on whose name the internet/mobile connection is registered. So in essence, it will indeed help a lot.

    • I do not look forward to the day when the government starts requiring telecom industry to ban encrypted/secure communication software. That’s the next step.

    • you are right .there are many ways to track criminals but only if someone wants to.
      our security agencies dont want to
      recent jail break incident is a clear example where 100’s of men came and went away unharmed from a location where more than 125000 thousand army is deployed

      • 1) Please keep your ignorance limited to the breed of your sort. Police department had been informed in time about possible jailbreak. Rehearsals were held by police as well as jail staff supervised by Army.
        The prisoners started a small riot which confirmed the suspicions. So, EVERYONE knew that a jail breaking attempt was imminent.
        2) KPK govt. DID NOT request military presence because its their policy to reduce their numbers in the province before starting peace talks.
        3) During the break attempt, militants talked to each other about attacking military garrison on their way back. Since army was listening to the radio feed, they stayed put and waited for the attack. It turned out that this was just a ploy to keep army confused. Unlike games, a 100 men strong force is a huge number especially at night time. Had army gone to the jail area proactively, it would have left their installations vulnerable AND a lot of bloodshed would have taken place because it was not possible to differentiate b/w taliban and inmates. Pertinent to mention that army orders are shoot-to-kill.
        4) PAF should have intercepted the convoy of taliban. The forgot to do so by mistake, just like Abottabad operation, Salala attack and many others.
        5) Objecting at others is VERY easy. Still, it should be done with correct stats. You are claiming that 25% of army of the country is deployed near the jail. You are obviously wrong. You are perhaps giving the total strength of armed forces in KPk, FATA and adjoining agencies.
        6) Army should actively monitor media reports and dispel any rumors and issue correct statistics/details/version of incidents. They should not rely on things like Zaid hamid. We need to know the truth and the ‘true’ truth – not fabricated one.

        • I agree. The incompetence or overconfidence of civil institutions esp police and civilian intelligence has left us with many losses. Unfortunately, thanks to some specific people armed forces arent as “proactive” as before and prefer to let the population suffer with their choic e of the so called civilian “leaders” instead. sad times because in the end we people will suffer.

  • One of the main reason could be those obsolete devices being used by our Telcos and, and also the equipment which is being used by PTA too is obsolete. Hence they’re prone to get hacked or manipulated.

  • noting will happen .the real problem is non seriousness of our security forces and agencies.
    the existing sim verification process is not bad at all.
    even if sim is not verified there are 100 of ways to track the culprit but only if people tracking them really want them

    • It is not non-seriousness. Non seriousness does not lead to proxy war efforts and the massive operations we saw against russia. No, what is happening here is “non-consistency” of policies whcih kills armed forces and civilians alike.

  • They won’t use Viber or whatsapp .. specially with NSA’s backdoors and the level of permissions these apps get. Plus, I’ve a feeling that the “political” parties involved in extortion will give some tough time in one way or another.

    BUT! its a good thing that we’ll go through a biometric verification. I hope it all goes well.

  • NADRA can do this job done in a better way by offering solution… but it is really hard to implement.. cost is very high for thumb devices and systems…

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