The chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Dr Mohammed Yaseen, has announced that the regulator has overseen the blocking of approximately 10.5 million unverified SIMs, the Pakistan Observer reports. At a meeting of the CEO’s of mobile companies operating in the country Dr Yaseen noted that, through the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), more than 7.3 million connections were blocked by 30 April 2008. During the second phase of action, targeting all SIMs sold between 1 May 2008 and 30 May 2008, a further 0.6 million connections have been blocked so far. Additionally, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) states that no more than ten connections are allowed per computerised national identity card (CNIC), and a further 2.6 million connections have been stopped for violating this regulation; the PTA had set operators a deadline of 30 September 2008 to block excess additional accesses.
The PTA has reiterated that the sale of pre-activated SIM cards must be stopped to ensure that full implementation of the SOP is possible, and it is understood that the regulator will work in conjunction with mobile operators and NADRA to create a framework for the sale and activation of SIM cards; the PTA expects a solution to be in place by 20 October 2008.