A final decision has been made where all stakeholders, cellular companies, Interior Ministry, Ministry of IT and Telecom and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority have agreed to re-verify SIMs with biometric verification system with-in next 90 days and block all unverified SIMs after the deadline is met, we have confirmed with sources.
Interior Ministry had initially asked telcos to re-verify SIMs in 28 days, while cellular operators had proposed 11 months for the reverification process to get completed.
Now, after a series of meetings, deliberations and a lot of push from Interior Ministry, the decision has been made that telcos will have to re-verify their 103 million subscribers in exactly 90 days, a Pakistan Telecommunication Authority spokesperson confirmed with ProPakistani.
Telcos will have to re-verify their subscribers with biometric verification system in exactly 90 days, a PTA spokesperson confirmed ProPaistani
After the deadline, remaining un-verified numbers will be blocked, the official added.
The process for re-verification of SIMs is starting from coming Monday, i.e. January 12th, 2015.
Telcos had estimated that some 40% of all active SIMs might get blocked after the re-verification exercise is completed, however, that was for 11 months’ deadline. With the deadline squeezed to just 90 days now, the number if SIMs that will get blocked due to non-verification may be significantly higher.
Phase 1 For Reverification of SIMs
First phase will start from January 12th, 2015 till February 26th, 2015.
During this time, following SIMs will be verified:
- Subscribers in Karachi, Peshawar, DI Khan, DG Khan Cities, Border Areas (FATA) & Balochistan Province
- Subscribers in Rest of Pakistan who have more than three SIMs per CNIC
SIMs to be Blocked after First Phase: On February 27th, all un-verified SIMs from above list will be blocked.
Phase 2 For Reverification of SIMs
Starting Feb 27th, 2015, following customers will be re-verified:
- Customers across Pakistan with two or less SIMs per CNIC per operator
SIMs to be Blocked after Second Phase: On April 14th, all un-verified SIMs will be blocked.
Unverified SIMs will be Blocked for Ever: Customers with blocked SIMs will have to get their SIMs re-issued, if not re-sold to any other customer
It is extremely important for you to get your SIMs re-verified before the deadline.
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.
Starting from January 12th, 2015, you are advised to go to your nearest service centers, franchises and retail outlets to get your numbers re-verified.
You are advised to get your SIMs reverified at earliest to avoid any misadventures
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 center, 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.
Please note that re-verification process is likely to be very hectic and soon service centers and franchises will have loads of people to get their SIMs reverified. You are advised to go early and get your SIMs reverified.
Customers Who are Out of Country
Those customers who are out of country and are using un-verified SIMs will have to get their SIMs re-verified on their next visit. Yes, we have checked with telcos, and they confirmed that there is no protocol available to get such customers verified who aren’t in country.
Such SIMs will be blocked like all other un-verified SIMs after the deadline.