Pakistan Mobile Operators Agree To Biometric System Installation

All mobile operators in the country have agreed to install the bio-metric system and increased the SIM verification fee from Rs13 to Rs28 per transaction.

The installation of complete biometric equipment at every point of sale (POS) would cost betweenRs35,000 – Rs40,000 per outlet.

Mobile operators have agreed to bear the cost of purchasing the required devices that will be installed at some 75,000 POS across the country.

The installation of the biometric system at some 70,000-75,000 POS across Pakistan will take a minimum of one year and cost approximately Rs2.8bn based on the availability of specialized equipment which will be imported from abroad.

When contacted, a spokesman for one cellular company said: “Keeping in view the national security requirements, the cellular operators have agreed upon the installation. Even in the past, all mobile operators have complied with the directives issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the government of Pakistan.”

• National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) related payment by mobile operators (for SIM verification through biometric) would now increase from Rs13 to Rs28 per transaction.
• In the last 3-4 years, mobile operators have spent almost Rs2 billion in Nadra charges for different types of SIM verification processes.
• Currently mobile phone companies are selling SIMs at 250,000 sales points across Pakistan (including service centers, retailers and franchises).
Operators suggested that Nadra should substantially reduce its charges for this cause of national security, which is of dire need in the current situation. The government should bear 30%-40% of the total equipment cost through import subsidies and funding available from different sources.

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