The days of walking into call centres with photocopies of identity cards filling out cellular subscriber agreement forms and the wait to get the SIM activated are history.  – File photo
The days of walking into call centres with photocopies of identity cards filling out cellular subscriber agreement forms and the wait to get the SIM activated are history. – File photo

ISLAMABAD, April 3: A new electronic SIM registration system has been launched to block the use of unregistered cellular connections by criminals. And in the three days since the system was enforced as many as forty thousand verification requests were rejected.

The new automated procedure for sale of mobile SIMs was enforced from April 1 but it was formally launched by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the four cellular mobile operators on Tuesday.

“The days of walking into call centres with photocopies of identity cards filling out cellular subscriber agreement forms and the wait to get the SIM activated are history. Customers can now purchase a SIM and activate it from the comfort of their homes in half hour to two hours,” said a spokesman for a cellphone service provider.

According to the new security check system, subscribers' documentation would be maintained electronically instead of taking down their details on paper (that more often than not contained mistakes or inaccurate information) and pre-sale would be automated linking it with already automated post-sale procedure called 789.

Under the new procedure, only original CNIC would be required to be presented at any registered sale point to buy a new SIM along with terms and conditions document in the SIM jacket. The sale personnel would send the CNIC of the customer to a short code to authenticate the sale.

“Customer can then dial 789 to connect with the cellular company's helpline who will confirm if the person calling for the activation is in fact the same person who presented the original ID card to purchase the SIM,” said an official of another company.

Although, customers' records would be maintained by the respective cellular companies, the process is centralised and data shared with Nadra for verification.

According to PTA, SIMs sold through registered sale channels only would be activated after calling 789, responding to asked questions - mother's name and date of birth etc - agreement to the terms conditions and declaration that the SIM would not be misused.

“The new system would not only help eliminate the misuse of CNIC copies but would also facilitate in keeping authentic record of SIMs sale and enabling track of sale channels in case of any misuse,” said an official in PTA.

Chairman PTA Dr Mohammad Yaseen, who visited call centres of different mobile companies for inaugurating the commercial launch of the project, was briefed about the arrangements made in this regard.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (9)

April 4, 2012 9:30 pm
OK step in right direction, but how can it stop sending any person to first buy the sim and present the nic card and later get it verified 789 and then handing the sim to criminals? very few will have correct address on NADRA database to be caught later!
April 4, 2012 11:41 pm
This is pointless as a lot of people can just give their SIM to their siblings or friends, why not invest in better GPS/tracking by the government instead of this?
April 5, 2012 9:19 am
My question is that what about the already sold more than 100 million SIMs.of which there might be handful of them would be registered according to the new "so called" LAW.And if a terrorist need to purchase a SIM illegally he can use someone else's ID card and purchase the SIM, do u think this is a safe way of registration, if a terrorist can bomb a whole city i think its not impossible to call a call center agent and convince him to activate his sim which would ofcource not his sim but the person whose CNIC he has snatched or theft.
April 6, 2012 4:52 am
Was wondering where was the new software made, was it made in Pakistan or soe other country?
April 6, 2012 8:46 am
This system in place for many months. i bought a ufone SIM some 6 months ago and registered it by calling 789. so what's new in this system?
Cyrus Howell
April 9, 2012 12:19 am
Innocent people have nothing to fear.
April 11, 2012 9:17 am
This system should also be implemented in all government institutions. Biometric System would further enhance the security and misuse of CNIC.
Faizan Habib
May 5, 2012 11:13 am
It would be great!!!!!!!!!!
August 23, 2012 5:22 am
inshahallah is se terrorism boht km hojae ga
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