ATRA urges cellcos to implement biometrics for SIM registration

18 Aug 2016

Sector watchdog the Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) has urged the nation’s mobile providers to introduce biometric verification for SIM registration as soon as possible. Whilst the officials committed to put such a policy into place soon, the cellcos are unlikely to be in a position to act on the proposals for some time, as the government’s efforts to introduce national electronic ID cards – complete with biometric data – have recently foundered. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database neighbouring Pakistan completed a re-verification project last year, which required all mobile customers to confirm their identity with their mobile provider via biometric verification – in this case a thumbprint scan. Pakistan chose to reinforce its SIM registration procedures after an attack on a school in Peshawar in December 2014 revealed that phones used in the attack had used fraudulently verified SIMs.