Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has started to confirm blocking of unverified SIMs by inspecting the Home Location Registers (HLRs) of the Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs), said a statement issued by the regulator.
PTA team headed by Director General (Enforcement) visited CMOs’ offices during last week to confirm the blocking of SIMs that could not be re-verified beyond September 2013.
During the visit, progress made by CMOs on identifying and blocking “not re-verified” SIMs was checked by PTA. CMOs assured PTA to continue their efforts against identity theft wherein SIMs were activated without the knowledge of CNIC holders, said the statement.
It was, however, not mentioned in the statement that how many unregistered SIMs were blocked during the process. It also didn’t clarify if all the unregistered SIMs were blocked or if there were still any unregistered byt unblocked SIMs remaining.
It is pertinent to mention here that PTA has set up a system called “SIM Information System – 668” in order to ensure that the SIMs are registered against the CNIC of the authorized (legitimate) user.
A customer can get the count of each mobile company’s SIMs registered against his/her CNIC by sending his/her CNIC number to short code “668”. In case of any data mismatch, the customer can remove extra SIMs against his/her CNIC by requesting respective operator.
Users of all such disowned SIMs are then approached by respective mobile operator to get the SIM registered against his/her CNIC. Otherwise, the same is blocked after 15 days’ time period. General public is requested to support PTA and CMOs by using this system and disown extra SIMs registered on their CNICs without their consent.
PTA is following the policy guidelines of the government on blocking and verification of SIMs. It is hoped that the issue of un-authorized SIMs will be resolved through a joint effort by all stakeholders including the general public.