In an effort to register mobile SIMs against CNICs of actual users, the Pakistan Telecomm-unication Authority (PTA) announced on Wednesday that it has blocked 875,000 mobile connections as a first batch.
During this ‘intelligent blocking’, PTA said a particular SIM user would only be allowed to call 789 for re-verification of his antecedents.
The 789 system is an automated real-time verification system under which a customer has to approach a call centre of the mobile company concerned by dialing short code 789 and re-register and verify his antecedents through NADRA’s database by answering questions like mother’s name and place of birth.
PTA said the process of blocking SIMs would be completed in four weeks as the same number of mobile connections – 875,000 – would be blocked on a weekly basis, bringing the total to 3.5 million.
The mobile connection of users, who failed to approach 789 for re-verification of data, will be completely blocked at the end of each week.
PTA said an SMS would again be sent to all leftover mobile users, advising them to approach 789 so as to avoid complete blocking of their SIMs.
Earlier, PTA had initiated a drive for electronic re-verification of all mobile users through the SIM Information System – 668 – on October 15, 2009. Till now, 16.2 million unregistered and unverified SIMs and mobile connections have been blocked during Phase-I and Phase-II of the SIM Information System.
This left only 16.78 million connections, out of 105 million, for re-verification of antecedents in Phase-III. During this phase starting April 20 this year, PTA said targeted mobile users were approached through multiple SMS and awareness campaign via print and electronic media. As a result, 13.28 million users got their antecedents re-verified by May 17.
The 668 service is free of charge where consumer can know the number of SIMs registered against his CNIC by sending his CNIC number through SMS.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2011.
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