Around 75 percent of the 10 million SIM cards verified until now are ‘not registered properly’, says State Minister for Telecommunication Tarana Halim.
According to her, a case of 14,000 SIMs purchased against a ‘fake’ National Identification (NID) card was found during the ongoing verification process for SIM card registrations.
“Until now, registrations of 10 million subscribers have been verified. Of them, only 2.34 million have been registered properly, which is around 25 percent,” Halim told the media on Tuesday before a meeting with stakeholders.
CEOs of operators and representatives from the EC’s NID registration wing, National Telecommunications Monitoring Cell and Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission attended the meeting.
Security concerns over use of SIMs registered dubiously led the government to order verifications and re-registartion of all SIM cards.
Operators have been asked to recheck registration details and then allow re-registration of SIMs in operation.
“Data provided by the operators until Monday, is insufficient. The operators have issued around 130 million SIM cards. Information of only 7.65 percent of it is available until now,” the minister said on Tuesday.
Airtel has provided details of 1.49 million users—just about 15.47 percent of its subscribers’ base. Banglalink provided information of 2.35 million or just 7.27 percent of its users, said Halim.
Details of 414,000 customers have been given by CityCell, which is 35.7 percent of its total users.
Robi provided details of 1.8 million (6.49 percent) and state-owned TeleTalk gave details of 1.6 million or 39.32 percent of its subscribers.
The country’s largest operator Grameenphone, which has a subscriber base of over 50 million, has come up with details of only 2.2 million, accounting for a meagre 4.08 percent.
The minister said on Tuesday that several incidents of registering SIMs with fake NIDs and purchasing thousands of SIMs with a single NID were found during the verification process.
Three NIDs were found, which were used to register between 6,000 and 11,000 SIMs from different operators.
Halim said that SIM registration with biometric data will be started on a trial basis from November. “This is a warning for the users that they have to register properly. Operators will start using biometric details from December.