PTA finishes third phase of SIM verification; starts blocking unregistered users

19 May 2011

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced that, having already completed the first two phases of its efforts to ensure all mobile subscribers in the country had registered their SIM cards, it has now seen most customers provide their details following the third and final phase of the scheme. According to the Daily Times, the PTA claimed that after the initial two rounds of verification it had successfully confirmed the details of all but 16.2 million of the country’s more than 100 million wireless subscribers, and it said that following the third phase some 13.28 million of those had now provided their information. As a result, the regulator confirmed that it now intends to block all of those SIMs that remain unregistered, and it will do this in four weekly stages, with an initial 875,000 SIMs blocked as of yesterday. For those customers that still have yet to provide their relevant details and find themselves blocked from making calls the government has revealed a special number that will allow the SIM holder to re-register and verify his or her details via the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), following which the SIM card will be re-activated. In total the PTA says it expects to block around 3.5 million SIMs over the course of the next four weeks.