Exclusive: 103 Million SIMs to be Re-Verified in Pakistan!

Highlights

  • All SIMs issued prior to 1st August 2014, will be required to be re-verified
  • Un-verified SIMs after deadline (to be announced later) will be blocked
  • Re-verification exercise is to start with-in a week of notification
  • Re-verification exercise to take an year

After plenty of discussion, cellular operators, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Ministry of IT and Telecom and Ministry of Interior are close to reaching an agreement on re-verification of SIMs in Pakistan, we have confirmed with sources.

Sources tell ProPakistani that a final decision is likely to be made with-in next two days, after which the process of re-verification of SIMs will start from January 12th-15th, 2015.

According to the plan — which isn’t confirmed and final as of now —  re-verification of each and every SIM in Pakistan will take place in five phases. After the completion of exercise, which can take an year, not a single SIM will be left without biometric verification.

Plan is mutually chalked out by stake-holders, while Ministry of Interior is still pushing for an early completion of cent-percent re-verification of SIMs.

Categorization of Customers

According to sources, the plan, which is now in final phases of discussion, looks like following:

  • Total number of SIMs that are to be verified: 103 million
  • Subscribers are divided in two categories based on their location
    • Subscribers in troubled areas: Karachi, Peshawar, DI Khan, DG Khan Cities, Border Areas (FATA) & Balochistan Province
    • Subscribers in remaining areas: Rest of Pakistan

According to sources,

  • Subscribers in troubled areas are further divided into two categories:
    • Grey List: Subscribers having 3 and more SIMs per CNIC per operator
    • White-List: Subscribers having 2 or less SIMs per CNIC per operator
  • Subscribers in Rest of Pakistan are also divided into two categories
    • Grey List: Subscribers with more than 3 SIMs on single CNIC per operator
    • White List 1: 2 SIM per CNIC per operator
    • White List 2: 1 SIM per CNIC per operator

Total Number of SIMs to be Reverified

According to data provided by telcos, following is the number of subscribers that need re-verification:

  • In troubled Areas:
    • Grey List: 7 million
    • White List: 14 million
  • Rest of Pakistan
    • Grey List: 23 million
    • White-List 2: 18 million
    • White-List 2: 41 million
  • Total: 103 million

Just if you are interested in knowing,

According to information we have received so far, these 103 million customers will be re-verified in around an year in five phases. Below are the details and timeline for each phase:

Phase 1

  • Target: Re-verification of Grey List from troubled areas
  • Starting Date: With-in a week of the notification
  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • Target SIMs: 7 million

Phase 2

  • Target:
    • Re-verification of White-List from troubled areas
    • Grey List (Rest of Pakistan)
  • Starting Date: February 28th, 2015
  • Duration: 12 week
  • Target SIMs:
    • Re-verification of White-List from troubled areas: 14 million
    • Grey List (Rest of Pakistan): 23 million
    • Total: 37 million
    • 20 Million Additional Subscribers are Expected to Approach BVS Devices for Re-Verification

By the end of phase 2 some 47 million SIMs would be verified.

Phase 3

  • Blocking of SIMs: 1st Blocking of Non-Verified Subscribers from Phase-1 and Phase 2 on May 1st 2015
  • Target: Rest of Pakistan – White List 2 (2 SIMs per CNIC per operator)
  • Starting Date: May 1st, 2015
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • Target SIMs: 18 million

Phase 4

  • Blocking of SIMs: 2nd Blocking of Non-Verified Subscribers from phase 3 on July 31st, 2015
  • Target: White-List 1 from Rest of Pakistan (1 SIM per CNIC per operator)
  • Starting Date: July 31st, 2015
  • Duration: 16 weeks
  • Target SIMs: 41 Million

Phase 5

  • Blocking of SIMs: 2nd Blocking of Non-Verified Subscribers from phase 4 on July 31st, 2015
  • Verification of any subscriber who was previously blocked

Up-gradation of BVS System Required

Mobile phone companies will have to update the sofware for their BVS devices as currently only new sales, SIM replacements and MNP customers are verified through BVS devices.

With new software update, any customer would be able to go and get their SIMs verified — even for their currently operating SIMs.

The process for upgrading the software is already on the go. According to the officials we have spoken with, mobile phone companies have already started on their readiness for the start of re-verification of SIMs.

Awareness Campaign

A massive media campaign/SMS broadcast will be on-aired for the customers to get their SIMs re-verified. Deadline for blocking of SIMs will be clearly communicated to customers.

Customers’ Responsibility

Once the upgrade module is loaded into BVS devices and re-verification of SIMs is started, customer will have to go to service centres, franchises and retail outlets to get their numbers verified.

The exercise shall start shortly across the country and there will be a great rush at the designated places, therefore, it is to intimate ProPakistani readers to start early and avoid long queues at a later time.

Things to do:

  • Check total number of SIMs against a CNIC by sending CNIC number without dashes to 668. You shall receive the count of Sims on all mobile operators.
  • Go to nearest service centre, franchise or retail outlet of your operator
  • Carry your original CNIC.
  • You will have to present their thumb impression for biometric verification
  • After verification, a list of SIMs will be displayed registered against your CNIC
  • You can either keep the SIMs registered in your name, and those number blocked that you don’t posses
  • Once done, all SIMs against your CNIC will be tagged as verified.

Your respective mobile companies shall also inform through SMS/media campaign giving a deadline after which your un-verified shall be blocked.

You can share this with your friends so they are prepared as well.

Please Note

As mentioned above, this plan isn’t confirmed and final as of today. There is a meeting planned tomorrow and day after tomorrow where everything will be finalized. According to sources, telcos are pretty much okay with the above plan, however, Ministry of Interior is trying to squeeze schedule for the the re-verification.

As you can expect, ProPakistani will make sure that you are updated with the decisions as soon as they made.

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