November 24, 2007

Mobile Companies Complete 85% Verification of Consumer Data

Islamabad: Cellular mobile companies have completed verification of approximately 85% data of their subscribers through NADRA whereas actions taken by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have ensured sale of new SIMs with proper documentation in all major cities across the country.

According to a spokesman of the Authority, non-verification of mobile subscribersâ?? antecedents is being viewed with great concern by PTA. To eradicate the problems caused due to fake customersâ?? antecedents, PTA issued a comprehensive SOP wherein mobile operators were directed to streamline the new connections sale and verify the old records through NADRA. The spokesman said that verification of old data is a difficult and lengthy process, however, due to PTA efforts, approximately 85 % of the data has already been verified.

To check the sale of new mobile connections, PTA has carried out three confidential surveys of the franchisees and retailers of mobile operators. As a result of these surveys, franchisees that were found involved in illegal sale of SIMs were sealed. Furthermore, the operators have also been asked to ensure that the connections are not sold by unregistered retailers, the spokesman added.

Mobile operators have taken a number of steps in response to directions of the Authority.They have suspended operation of 40 franchisees and imposed penalties on them worth Rs 9.88 million. Similarly, sale commission of 4 franchisees was forfeited, stock of 26 franchisees was suspended and warning letters were issued to all franchisees. A total of 1,020,874 (more than one million) unverified SIMs/Connections have been blocked so far. A semi-automated system has been adopted by all mobile companies for swift verification of new subscribersâ?? antecedents.

The spokesman further said that the Authority would continue conducting survey of franchisees and legal action would be taken against those violating directions. The verification process though NADRA would be strictly monitored and all unverified SIMs/Connections be blocked. An efficient automated system would be developed to streamline the verification process by mobile operators. The operators would also be directed to ban/stop the sale of new connections through unregistered retailers, he added.


Khurram Ali Mehran

Deputy Director (PR)