New verification system causes slump in SIM sales in Pak

March 24th, 2009 - 5:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, Mar. 23 (ANI): The sale of SIM cards has gone down in Pakistan since the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) implemented the new verification system for new cellular connections following the recent terror attacks. The PTA has asked all cellular service providers and their franchisees to sell SIMs (subscriber identity modules) after proper verification. Owners of franchisees are not happy with this development. Earlier, we sold a good number of new connections every month from general stores, mobile shops, medical pharmacies, and milk shops. But due to the new verification system, sales have decreased by almost 40 percent, and now, we are unable even to meet the expenditure of running the franchise, the Daily Times quoted Shagan Malik, a franchise owner, as saying. If any sales point or outlet sells SIMs without verification, the PTA has the authority to seal the franchise from where the SIM was released. Earlier, SIM cards were sold without any verification across Pakistan. Now all customers are required to fill out a Customer Service Agreement Form (CSAF) and attach necessary identification documents with it. The steps taken by the government are being appreciated as criminals and terrorists had used fake and unregistered SIMs for various crimes, including the Mumbai terror attacks. The new system was launched for the safety and convenience of the public, and after the implementation of this system, the usage of unregistered SIMs for anti-social activities had reduced, senior PTA official said. (ANI)

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