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Following the orders of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has introduced a significant change in “Subscriber Antecedents Verification Regulation 2012” by allowing maximum of 5 SIMs against one CNIC of any operator.
Earlier Chief Justice of Pakistan had ordered to make arrangements necessary to make arrangements necessary to make sure that only one SIM could be issued against a single CNIC.
Before this directive, each CNIC holder could own 10 SIMs of one operator, or 40 SIMs of 4 cellular operators at most. But according to the new rule, one customers will be able to hold maximum of 5 SIMs against his/her CNIC of one or multiple operators.
A status of those connections that have been sold in past and are in access of 5 in number on one CNIC is still unclear. Industry is hoping that this rule will be applicable on new sales only and those connections that have already been sold will not be impacted.
An official of a cellular operator argued that directive from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority doesn’t explain the status of already sold SIMs, for which industry will wait for Standard Operating Procedures that might not be made available soon given the Chairman PTA is stepping down on July 24th, 2012.
Officials of telecom industry believe that issuing the directive is meaningless unless the standard operating aren’t revised by PTA. He maintained that blockade of old connections exceeding 5 SIMs on single CNIC will arise serious for customers and mobile companies.
Analysts believe that this directive is not implementable unless authority keeps a check on mobile cellular mobile operators will have to keep track companies’ records. They opined that cellular mobile operators will have to keep track of number of SIMs issued on one CNIC at 789 activation phase – which isn’t happening as of now at least.
A legal expert, when contacted for opinion, said that Supreme Court can take suo motu notice if its judgements aren’t implemented by PTA , for which telecom authority is suppose to submit a compliance with in specific time frame.
It is feared that number of mobile connection will notably come down if this rule of 5 SIMs on single CNIC is implemented on already sold SIMs too.
Cellular subscribers can check number of SIMs issued on their CNIC through 668 service or by clicking on this link: http://www.pata.gov.pk/668/.
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