Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is in a continuous effort for electronic re-verification of all mobile users through SIM Information System – 668 since 15thOctober 2009. For the purpose a centralized database has been maintained at PTA where the information is being provided by mobile operators on monthly basis and updated accordingly. It is pertinent to mention that all these connections are already registered against a CNIC, however, to ensure that a particular SIM is registered against CNIC of its actual user, the electronic re-verification process has been started. Till now, in a process of cleaning of mobile subscribers’ data, a total of 16.2 million unregistered/unverified SIMs/mobile connections have already been blocked during Phase-I and Phase-II of SIM Information System – 668. After successful completion of Phase-I and Phase-II, only 16.78 million connections, out of 105 million connections were left over to re-verify their antecedents that have been termed as Target Mobile Connections for Phase-III of 668 i.e. “Proper ID Verification” project.
During Phase-III of 668, CMTOs & PTA started approaching the target mobile connections through sending multiple SMSs and launching awareness campaign via print and electronic media since 20th April, 2011. A total of 13.28 million targeted mobile connections have approached and re-verified their antecedents through 668 database till 17th May, 2011.
In a comprehensive effort to register the SIMs against CNICs of the actual users, PTA has initiated intelligent blocking from May 18th 2011 where 0.875 million left over targeted mobile connections has been blocked as a first batch. During the intelligent blocking a particular SIM/connection shall only be allowed to call 789 for re-verification of user’s antecedents. The 789 system is an automated real time verification system where a customer has to approach Call Center of the concerned mobile company by dialing short code 789 and re-register & verify his antecedents through NADRA’s database by answering mandatory secret questions i.e. mother’s name and place of birth so as to activate his non-active SIM.
In order to facilitate the consumers and considering the limited resources available at mobile companies’ end, the process of intelligent blocking shall be completed in four weeks where same number of mobile connections i.e. 0.875 million shall be blocked on weekly basis thus bringing total no of SIMs to 3.5 million. The mobile connections that failed to approach 789, for re-verification/confirmation of their data, shall be completely blocked at the end of each week.
With a view to further facilitate the mobile users, individual SMS shall again be sent to all left over target mobile connections advising them to approach 789 so as to avoid completely blocking of their SIMs.
It is also important to mention here that for the best interest of consumers’, PTA has made the service of 668 free of charge where consumer can know the count of SIMs of each mobile company registered against his CNIC by sending his CNIC number to 668 through SMS. Purpose of initiating blocking that too in phased manner is to assist mobile users with one more chance to correct the antecedents of their mobile connections. Chairman PTA is personally monitoring the whole exercise.
(Khurram A. Mehran)