Since all new SIMs and the old SIMs are now biometrically verified and there is no way of getting a SIM without proper verification of customer, Mobile phone users of Pakistan have urged Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to get the limit of 5 SIMs per 1 CNIC removed.
According to a PTA directive issued in July 2012, all mobile phone companies are required to check the number of SIMs issued against a CNIC before making a new sale. Moreover, telcos were directed to not to sell any new SIM to users who have five or more SIMs registered against one CNIC.
PTA’s directive was outcome of a Supreme Court verdict that had asked PTA to make necessary arrangements for blocking of illegal sale of SIMs and maximum of 5 SIMs per 1 CNIC rule was imposed to discourage illegal sales.
Time has changed now and because all new and old SIMs are verified through biometric verification of customers, and hence there’s no chance of illegal sale of SIMs and this is why Supreme Court’s directive has become irrelevant at this point in time.
After biometric verification of all SIMs, 5 SIMs per 1 CNIC rule has become irrelevant and should be revoked at earliest: Telcos
Due to cultural trends of Pakistan, mobile phone SIMs are usually registered against male members of the family and SIMs used by females, under-age users are registered against male members, who — in most cases — have exhausted their 5 SIMs per 1 CNIC limit. In such situations, they are not offered any new SIM because of PTA’s 5 SIMs per 1 CNIC rules.
Moreover, since we have 3G and 4G networks in Pakistan now, users have multiple devices (smartphone, tablets, Dongles) with internet access that require separate conventional and data SIMs. With Internet of Things (IoT) approaching Pakistan’s shores, this demand for more SIMs per user will only increase during days to come.
This scenario and the rule is barring telcos’ potential sales, who are already struggling with new sales due to increased saturation and BVS verification.
While PTA has said that they will work on getting 5 SIMs per 1 CNIC rule revoked, mobile phone users and telcos are still waiting for any development on the matter. They have urged PTA to get the rule cancelled at earliest.