KARACHI: Mobile-phone carriers, who have already spent Rs2.5 billion on biometric devices, are set to spend many times more this year on the Subscriber Identification Module (Sim) re-verification drive.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Telenor CEO Michael Patrick Foley said that as many as 103 million SIMs would be verified using the Biometric Verification System (BVS) under the ongoing 90-day drive — from Jan 16 to Apr 13, which has been divided in two phases.

However, people who have three or more Sims per operator on their CNICs have to get their Sims verified before Feb 26, the last date of the first phase of the drive.

“Presently, BVS is the best technology available, and it would help law enforcement agencies do their jobs more effectively,” he said.

Although three months “is a very short time for the task”, he said, the Dec 16 attack on a Peshawar school “left us with no reason to whine about the time limit”. Given the figures, 103m Sims, 60,000 biometric devices and 90 days, provided by the telecoms industry, the re-verification drive can be anything but difficult, on paper at least. Doing simple math suggests that a device has to verify only 19 Sims daily.

But the long queues that have been forming outside most franchises paint a different picture. “I have been waiting for my turn for more than half an hour. Of course I don’t have whole day for this,” said an irate customer standing in one such queue.

Adding injury to insult is the fact that some retailers are reportedly cashing in on the situation by charging Rs20 or more for each verification against the official rate of Rs10.

Published in Dawn January 27th, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play



Horror in Sialkot
Updated 05 Dec 2021

Horror in Sialkot

All it takes now is an allegation of blasphemy and an individual or two to incite a mob to commit murder.
05 Dec 2021

Iran deadlock

EFFORTS to revive the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Austrian capital of Vienna appear to be deadlocked, and...
05 Dec 2021

Reality of AIDS

AS World AIDS Day was marked on Dec 1, it came as a sobering reminder of how newer, major health hazards — the...
Stock market carnage
Updated 04 Dec 2021

Stock market carnage

PAKISTAN’S stock market has been on a downward ride for the last several months as a result of deteriorating...
04 Dec 2021

Omicron threat

THE NCOC has suggested installing more oxygen plants in various parts of the country as the new Covid-19 variant,...
04 Dec 2021

UK spymaster speaks

A RECENT speech by the chief of MI6 — the UK’s external intelligence agency — provided a key insight into the...