Exclusive: Pakistan is Left with 121.8 Million Active SIMs!

Unlike press and nation was told earlier, mobile phone companies re-verified their 198.4 million SIMs during the SIM re-verification drive, we are told by reliable sources.

This number is other than 17 million verified SIMs that telecom operators had bio-metrically verified from August 1st, 2014 till the start of re-verification drive on January 12th, 2015.

So mathematically, there were a total of 215.4 million SIMs at the start of biometric re-verification drive that ran for three months. Following is the breakup of 215.4 Million SIMs:

  • Active SIMs at the start of re-verification drive: 103 Million
  • SIMs that were already reverified through BVS: 17 Million
  • Dormant SIMs that were reverified by legitimate owners during reverification drive: 95.4 Million
  • Total Number of SIMs in all pools: 215.4 Million

For those who don’t know, a cellular SIM gets inactive (also known as dormant) when there is no revenue generating activity carried out from that SIM for 90 days. Such SIM is called dormant and is usually not counted as a subscription.

As we know that there were 103 Million SIMs selected for the re-verification purpose. These 103 Million SIMs were picked from the pool of active SIMs at the time of start of re-verification drive.

However, when re-verification started, dormant SIMs — even if they were decade old numbers that were in-active for ages — started appearing against CNICs of customers.

So it was a blessing in disguise for cellular operators as mobile phone users were offered to re-verify all the numbers registered against CNICs and this is how dormant SIMs started getting re-verified.

Blessing in Disguise: More than decade old inactive SIMs were also verified by mobile phone companies

It merits mentioning here that as per SOP for re-verification of SIMs, customers had to re-verify their one primary number for each operator and in return system sent a list of all registered numbers against the CNIC in an SMS. Customers were offered to re-verify all or selected numbers by just replying to this SMS.

This means that there were essentially two lists of SIMs that were getting re-verified: 1) Active SIMs and 2) dormant SIMs.

As per our well placed sources, below are re-verification stats for both the list:

  • Active SIMs: 103 Million
    • Re-verified: 70 Million
    • Disowned: 22 Million
    • Not Re-verified — to be blocked: 9 million
  • Dormant SIMs: 95.4 Million
    • Re-verified: 22 Million
    • Disowned: 65.4 Million
    • Not Re-verified — to be blocked: 8 Million
  • Combined Re-verification Stats:
    • Re-verified: 70 Million + 22 Million = 92 Million
    • Disowned: 22 Million + 65.4 Million = 87.4 Million
    • Not Re-verified: 9 Million + 8 Million = 17 Million

Below is the count of all active SIMs after re-verification:

  • Total Active SIMs:
    • Re-verified SIMs: 92 Million 
    • Re-verified SIMs before re-verification drive: 17 Million
    • Misc SIMs: 1.8 Million (Postpaid, corporate, foreigner SIMs, data SIMs etc)
    • Total Active SIMs: 110.8 Million

Introduction of Extreme White List

At the end of re-verification drive, cellular operators came up with this extreme white list, which according to them comprises of individuals who have one SIM per CNIC per Operator.

This Extreme White List has some 11 million SIMs.

Cellular companies argued that these individuals have one SIMs per CNIC per operator, meaning that they are such customers who have just a single SIM as their sole mean of cellular communication and hence they should be given more time to re-verify their SIMs.

This extreme white list was not blocked on April 13th, 2015, as we hinted yesterday.

Cellular companies were secretly making efforts to re-verify SIMs from the said “extreme white list”, but they were yesterday given a public permission from Interior Minister to conclude the re-verification of extreme white list.

So if we include these 11 million SIMs as currently active SIMs, total number of active SIMs become: 121.8 Million (111.8 million re-verified SIMs + 11 Million from extreme white list).

Since the new deadline for re-verification of extreme white list is May 15th, 2015 — the 11 million extreme white list may get shrinked by almost 50 percent and we may end-up around 115 million active users by May 15th, 2015.

More in below infographic:

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


  • Khan

    Hats off for propakistani for coming up with such quality and informative posts, also using embedded info-graphics.

    Btw All this biomatric re-verification madness sounds pretty useless to me, all the bad guys need is one sim, getting it won’t be a problem.

    Instead of cutting the roots of terrorism, destroying the origin of terrorism, we’re coming up with ways how to fight terrorism, that’s Insane.

    • munib

      The root of terrorism does not end in SIMs. Its in our school books, our madrasa books, our molviz and jihadi mindset and propaganda which a child comes across from early age.

      Its all about environment. Children and youngsters dont have any productive things in this country. The maximum is cricket and eating out.

      • Khan

        What the hell you talking about? Islam, Jihad, and Scholars are the cause of it? You better get your ideologies right.

        Root of this is the involvement of top security and intelligence agencies in Pakistan. Try shooting a donkey on the road, the next thing will be that police will be all over home, these pseudo talibans I’ve sen them passing through government security check points without any one batting an eye over them, they used to pass these checkpoints like walking through fresh air, no body even bother to see them in eyes.

      • Khan

        One major reason to it is that we’ve turned away from the deen of Allah… Don’t get fooled by these ttp aka Khawarij’s, they’re the dogs of hell. There is a difference between them and Islamic scholars.

      • Ali

        @munib tumarey jesey loog tu sab se bari musibat hain Pakistan main.
        Madarsa, Molvi ko badnaam karney ka faida nahi kion k achey burey loog har jaga hotey hain.

        Majority Madarsa and molviz achey hai jo Deen ka ka kaam kar rahay hain ,jo ghalat hian wo sirf atey main namak k barabar hain.

        • Mubasher Ahmed

          You have said the opposite thing. Jo achay hen wo atay men namak k barabar hen. Terrorism ko chor kr b agr ap kisi b madrasay men chalay jaen to ap ko bohat si buraian milen gi. Older students over power the younger students and rape them. When they get older they repeat the same things. No one would know more swear words than a child who has been to the madrassa. I don’t deny that there are some good ones but they are really less.

        • Mubasher Ahmed

          And for the record most of these molvis are inclined towards extremism. They do promote terrorism. You can turn a blind eye towards them and say that they are working for Islam but the sad truth is that the molvis of today are quite far from the true teachings of Islam. And as someone else has pointed that these molvs are according to a hadis of our Holy Prophet(PBUH) the worst kind of beings under the Earth. Even worse than animals.

  • TAimur

    Just a post with no credible sources… all [email protected]#$$000

  • Hashim Khan

    You are a confused person in case and please don’t confuse us. I can hardly remember what figures were in yesterday posts and now we are bombarded with another figures.

  • Mubasher Ahmed

    He did not mean that Islam is a cause of this. The cause is the so-called schollars of Islam that don’t know anything about true Islam.

  • See – still my cousin CNIC own 7 Sim Cards :D

  • asher

    Dear,

    I think it’s a very situation, culprits remain with their SIMS.but definitely Telcos after loosing unknown customer can loose the profit. Ultimately,we expect more taxes/ service/maintenance charges deduction over Recharge/Easy Loads.
    PTA as regulatory authority has a key role to help Telecom Sector to remain sustain,but it seems PTA itself hopeless to find some way how to tackle the situation, and as result recently Telecom Sector conduct a meeting with Ministry of Interior Chaudry Nisar and with his approval SIM Verification Process exceeds to some weeks.
    I knew it’s a very simple formula to retain customer against unverified sims, but for PTA should have to play very active role in co-ordination with Telcos.