Ufone ready with new thumbprint scanners

29 Nov 2013

Pakistan Telecommunications Mobile Ltd (PTML), the wireless division of fixed line incumbent Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) and operating under the Ufone brand, is set to launch the biometric verification system for SIM registration in Karachi on 30 November and in all of its customer service centres and franchised outlets by 20 December, the Nation writes. The system is part of the government’s most recent offensive in its long fight to curb the use of mobile phones in crime by reducing the large number of unregistered SIMs in the market. As previously noted by CommsUpdate, the biometric verification equipment is compulsory at customer service centres and franchises that sell SIMs. The systems feature a thumbprint scanner that will check the customer against the National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA’s) records to confirm the would-be subscriber’s identity before a SIM is issued. Pakistan has long struggled with the large number of unregistered and unverified SIMs in the market. Whilst compliant with the measures a number of telcos have expressed concerns over the strategy, suggesting that for the scheme to work properly every wireless subscriber would need to re-verify their SIMs.