Results of SIM Re-Verification Drive Get Suspicious

Three month long SIM re-verification drive from cellular companies, that cost them over US 60 million dollars, is becoming shady as the results are too confusing to digest.

Under this SIM re-verification drive, mobile phone companies were to re-verify 103 million prepaid customers through biometric re-verification system.

At the end of deadline (which was set as April 12th, 2015) all un-verified SIMs were suppose to get blocked.

This essentially means that after April 13th, 2015, every single SIM operating in the country had to be either verified by biometric re-verification system or it had to be postpaid/corporate subscription.

However, the results — which are yet not made public by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority — are only raising more questions about the credibility of re-verification drive.

Keep reading to know the facts

Suspicion # 1

Before we go ahead, here are some background facts at the starting of re-verification drive

So technically speaking, Pakistan’s total mobile subscribers — before the start of re-verification drive — stood at:

  • (To be verified SIMs + Already Verified SIMs + Corporate/postpaid connections) – (Blocked SIMs)
  • (103 million + 17 million + 3 million) – 14 Million
  • 109 Million

Hence, telcos had these 109 million SIMs on January 12th, 2015 when biometric re-verification started.

After verification, following two totally contradicting statements came from two government officials:

If 20 million SIMs out of 109 million SIMs were blocked (as per Anusha) then total count of SIMs should have reduced to 89 Million, or even worse, if 26 million SIMs were blocked (as per Chairman PTA) then total count of SIMs should have reduced to 83 Million.

But both of these possibilities were not met. And as per Dr. Ismail Shah, the total count of SIMs in Pakistan (as of last weekend) stood around 120 million. He told this during a workshop held in Islamabad this weekend. Here’s the link for coverage of the said workshop.

Cellular companies explain that they made new sales during three months (Jan-April 2014), while dormant SIMs (that were blocked in December 2014) went active and hence the count for SIMs increased.

Not to mention, sale of new SIMs was banned on retail outlets and just customer service centres were allowed to sell new SIMs.

Re-verification data provided by mobile phone companies do not reconcile 

So mathematically speaking cellular companies managed to grab over 30 million of new sales and/or re-activation of dormant subscriptions.

Yes, its all confusing and even PTA admits that results are not reconciling.

Update on Suspicion # 1

PTA has clarified our suspicion # 1, by sharing with us the detailed results of SIM reverification. You can check detailed results of SIM reverification by clicking this link.

Suspicion # 2

If all un-verified SIMs are blocked — then how come illegal voice exchanges are still operating in full swing?

We know that illegal voice exchanges use hundreds of SIMs per exchange and those SIMs are impossible to get re-verified. Hence they were suppose to get blocked after the deadline — putting an end to illegal exchanges.

However, that’s not the case. PTA and FIA in-fact raided two exchanges just past week. Below is scree-grab of the official PR on the raid:

PTA_Raid

Suspicion # 3

ProPakistani has details of few numbers that were never verified by their users but those un-verified numbers are still operating normally, even after the deadline.

It merits mentioning here that all these numbers (that are un-verified but still active) are extremely high revenue generating SIMs.

Not all un-verified SIMs were Blocked

If we suppose that high-revenue generating SIMs are still not blocked and cellular companies are dodging the regulator then all the SIMs used by illegal exchanges are bound to be high-revenue generating SIMs and they are never going to get blocked.

Similarly, in such a case, those fraudsters that send fake lottery SMS or Benazir Income Support messages are going to live forever.

Cellular Companies Viewpoint

Telecom companies, when asked about the issue, said that all un-verified SIMs are blocked. They said that data of verified and blocked SIMs has been shared with PTA and only PTA will make these stats public.

Apparently they didn’t know anything further.

PTA’s Viewpoint

PTA thinks that the matter of un-verified SIMs need a proper conclusion. It said that they want to make sure that this whole issue is never revived again and for this they want Ministry of Interior to audit the data along with PTA officials.

PTA said that this audit report will settle all doubts and that no one should worry about any in-appropriations.

It won’t be out of place to mention here that audit team is yet not formed — even after 15 days of completion of re-verification drive.

Suspicion # 4

Unless you live under a rock, you must be familiar that all cellular networks are operated with computers. And they take just few clicks in blocking (millions of) SIMs, re-activating them or counting them all.

If so, then why such delays in announcing the re-verification results?

Not to mention, in ad-hoc press briefings — during the re-verification drive — PTA used to communicate up-to-date re-verification results on day to day basis, meaning that they had all the telcos’ data communicated to them in real time.

Then why it is now taking them forever to announce the results?

We just hope that millions of dollars and countless work hours of Pakistanis won’t just get wasted.

You can share your thoughts below!

Update

We just have been told that deadline for re-verification of SIMs has been extended till May 15th, 2015. This was decided during a high-level meeting chaired by Ch. Nisar, Interior Minister.

This proves that our above suspicions were just on the mark and the corporates — in hands with PTA and Ministry of Interior —  fouled the whole nation again.

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


  • main to pehle din se kah raha hu k koi ek banda dikha do jis ki unverified SIm block ho gayi ho !!! There is none as per my info.

    • well i know two persons who sim got blocked because they didn’t verified them. Sare unverified sim mobile companies kabi b block nahin karenge.

    • I have 1 sim of Warid and 1 sim of Mobilink. Warid sim is registered on my brothers ID card and he lives abroad thats why i didnt bother verifying it, the other one i borrowed from a friend long time back and i didnt verify it either. Both are still working fine.

  • Verification of SIM had a loop hole which was exploited.The ID cards for our mostly rural based population is being used to keep intact the SIMs being used for grey traffic. The innocent people just followed the instructions which the guy doing the verification work gave them.
    Have heard that another mode for Gray traffic is thru PRI ‘s of Zong and Nayatel.

  • Zong Customer ko call kar key pocha key meri sim kiyu band nahi huwi tu us ney kaha hum block nahi karey gey PTA block karey ga/

  • Jab tak sim sale retailers kay zaray ho gee, yee tamam problems hoon gee. Mustaqil hal aik ke hai, sim sale sirf franchise per ho.

  • My Unverified Telenor & Warid Numbers was Block after Deadline I.e 15th April. PTA, MoIT & Ministry Of Interiors done Good Job, @Propakistani Please don’t make the Whole Drive Suspicious!

    • Respected sir as your warid and telenor sims are blocked,it does not mean that our ZONG sims are blocked too.they are still working like charm

  • With personal experience, Telcos are responsible for this, yet another, fiasco.
    I had 3 extra SIMs of Telenor showing up, which I never purchased. Despite repeated requests, the franchises were unable to block these extra SIMs, saying that they do not have the authority to deactivate 3 SIMs while keeping my actual 2 verified numbers active. But, after 3 visits to Telenor CSC eventually I managed to bully them into blocking the unverified SIMs.
    Now, Ufone. Never in my life did I ever even dream of being a Ufone customer. Yet, there were 2 SIMs showing up in PTA database. So, I asked them to block all Ufone numbers attached to my CNIC, in January 2015. Up until 22 April, they managed to block only 1 out of 2. Then again, I had to twist somebody’s arm to get the other unverified SIM blocked.
    I wonder what would be the state with people who have 10 to 15 SIMs showing up against their CNICs.

    Standard (bull$hit) reply from Telcos are:

    1. SIMs are to be blocked by PTA. (…as if PTA is looking after their Network Operation Centers)
    2. We have started blocking SIMs phase wise. (… what does that even mean ?)
    3. We have blocked the SIM, but it takes 40-48 days for PTA database to get updated. (total lie… PTA DB is updated instantly)
    4. Sir, system nahin chal raha. (… yeah, was working fine before I pulled out my CNIC)
    5. Sir, you have punched your thumb print somewhere, please come after 2 hours. (… and what do I do for the next 2 hours? )

  • I have two Zong SIMs and I have never verified on biometric system (since I bought before biometric system). However, one night I received messages from Zong that my SIMs were verified on biometric system though I never visited their franchise or customer care center for this purpose. This Chinese-mall may have done the same to thousands of other SIMs as well resultantly making the whole practice useless and keeping us in the hands of terrorists.

  • i bought a ufone sim in 2011 converted in zong in 2012.and that sim has been inactive for than 3years.during this sim re verification Drama i received a text message at my in use number that you own (that zong converted sim) if yes then reply with YES it will be biometrically re verified.and just to check if it really worked or not i put this sim in phone it was blocked due to inactivity i just topped it with 100 rupiz Recharge and its working.Belive it or not..its working
    if all the sims have been verified like this THEN ALLAH PAKISTAN KA HAMI O NASIR HO

      • kia aamir bhai aap b…ab bachy ki jaan lo gy kia..?? portablity and convert ek hi cheaz k 2 nam hein..lol

        • boht fark hai, phir bhi chalo maan lo per sim convert nahi hoti wo new milti ha dusray network ki ;)

    • You are right same thing was happens with me even sim was not with me on verification time. :P

  • This is what happens when not one not one telecom company left is local Pakistani owned. These foreigners will never feel the pain of our nation.

    The previous regimes have sold our national treasures to foreigners who will never share the pain that we do.

    All bless us All. Only army is left to make sure this national menace of unverified sims and the loss to exchequer and our national security is not compromised. Ameen.

  • I have 2 unverified sims from Telenor and both are working fine yet. Even surprised that I purchased one telenor sim via biometric verification, but it is not registered on my name, operator told me to go to franchise and get registered again. This whole biometric verification was fake I believe

  • tbh the list of suspicion goes on. let me fork out 2 more:

    1: received the good old “ap k Rs 237928734 hazar rupae benazir income suppport k teht blah blah ” just this morning.
    2: I just so happen to own 2 sims that are not mine nor to my knowledge have ever been verified whatsoever yet guess what? still work just as fine as they ever did.

    so yes it was all every bit of sham as it was absurd. such a waste of time, energy and resources

    and to those who think it worked just because they know x amount of ppl whose sims got blocked, let’s not forget, the whole thing was raised and rolled out at the very idea that no unverified or unregistered sim shall escape the process so that we can curb terrorism (though im still more than skeptical about it) gray terrific and other IT-related evils and may be lose weight as a whole nation, what with standing in the beelines for hours? so it doesn’t matter who bypassed it or how or in what numbers, as long as we have a single unregistered sim working, it’s a failure and should have had never happened in the first place.

  • Yeh jo Aamir Atta bhai hain na, wo kehtay hain na kay ye banda keera hai falan falan chez ka. bus @aamir7:disqus sahab bhi na boht bareeki say dekhtay hain.wese bareeki ka kaam acha nahi hota phir bhi…apne info achi di ha despite you know already kay mobile subscriber ka data kabi bhi kisi nay verify nahi kiya.
    second, lets say if some unverified sims continue to operate after this process, the case will be registered against the company then…I don’t think they are ready for this. Also the purpose of this verification to control terrorism rather these illegal exchanges or benazir income support lottery
    Main to aese messages enjoy kerta hun…or ye jo asma hai iski behn Dubai main hoti hai..yakeen na aye to schreenshot dekh lo…
    ye msg muj aya tha

  • CYRACE.COM is a news and technology website that covers everything happening around in the world.

  • I never ever bought or used or verified telenor or zong sims but still there are sims on my name, I went to telenor office once and they said they will close that connection but still those sims are active. I just checked sending my cnic on 668

  • I have two completely unverified sims (not even in my name) which have heavy usage. Both of them are still active. Its unbelievable. I would have been delighted if those sims had been blocked.This whole campaign has been made questionable by these greedy and insensitive mobile companies. They want these unverified sims to continue because they are used extensively by criminals, bringing them good revenues. Shame on them.

  • میرے پاس ایک ٹیلی نار سم تهی جس کی تصدیق میں نہیں کروا سکا .. وہ نمبر اب بلاک ہو چکا ہے !

  • My telenor sim is still active and working fine. I am not using it for past 4-5 months also I have not re-verified it. TELCOs might have blocked few sims but not all IMO.

  • Ltd feature videos

    Watch more at LTD

    close
    >