December 15, 2015 -
The Bangladesh government is ready to start biometrics registration of mobile-phone SIM card holders on Wednesday December 16, reports The Independent.
“The problems that appeared during the trial process have been minimized so that we could run the official SIM registration using biometrics system from December 16 smoothly,” said State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim.
Cell phone providers started a trial of the registration system on November 15 at customer care centers by installing biometric verification devices which are linked with the national identity card (NIC) database of the Election Commission (EC). Subscribers verify their identity with a fingerprint and will be allowed to register a maximum of twenty mobile phone SIM cards against his or her national identity card.
The government decided to scrutinize subscribers’ data and ordered the biometric registration in the face of mounting complaints of fake and unregistered cards being used for criminal activities.
According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, more than 130 million of Bangladesh’s 160 million people had mobile phone subscribers until August this year. Of them, 52.5 million had internet connections.
In related news, in Pakistan, telecom companies reported a decline in sales after the government enforced all SIM card activations to be verified with biometrics through the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) database.