May 25, 2007

Strict action against those selling SIMs without proper verification of Subscriber's antecedents

Islamabad: Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Maj.Gen (Retd) Shahzada Alam Malik has directed the Cellular Mobile Operators to ensure that antecedents of the customers acquiring mobile connections from the respective mobile companies are properly documented before issuing new connections.

Chairman PTA was chairing a meeting with the representatives of the Cellular Mobile Operators in Islamabad today.  Mr. Malik said it has been witnessed that proper procedure is not being adopted with regard to acquiring the particulars of the customer intending to have a mobile connection.  Authority has received a number of complaints in this regard.

Chairman PTA directed the representatives of the CMTOs to make sure that a copy of Computerized National Identification Card (CNIC) is demanded from the customer at the time of issuance of SIM besides electronically maintaining the particulars of every subscriber as given in the customer agreement form. Mr. Malik categorically made it clear that this policy would be implemented immediately and strict action would be taken against those franchises that would be found in violation. He told the representatives of the CMTOs that by the beginning of July, PTA teams would be visiting various Franchises of all the cellular mobile operators across the country to check whether proper procedure is being adopted while issuing the respective mobile connections. Any franchise found to be selling SIMs without a copy of CNIC duly incorporating the SIM number being issued, would be immediately sealed and strict action, including cancellation of Franchise, would be taken. He further directed the CMTOs to ensure that their connections are sold only through franchises and from places which are registered with them and display proof of such registration for the benefit of the customers.

With regard to the verification of the left over cases of antecedents of the already issued SIMs, Chairman PTA urged the CMTOs to coordinate the verification process with NADRA. He gave the CMTOs three months time period to finish the verification process. After this, PTA team will visit CMTOs offices to ascertain the implementation of these instructions. He made it clear that any operator not seriously pursuing these directions may be showcaused by the Authority. The matter, he said, is of national importance and PTA is ready to join hands with the industry to initiate media campaign educating subscribers and general public at large in this regard.


Nabiha Mahmood

Deputy Director (PR)