The telecom regulator on Thursday asked mobile phone operators to block excess subscriber identification module (SIM) cards which were registered against one national identity card in violation of a regulatory order that bars registration of more than 15 SIM cards against an NID number.
A directive of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission issued by its director Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Azizur Rahman Siddiqui asked the telecom operators to start closing such SIM cards on April 26.
The BTRC letter also warned the mobile phone operators of regulatory measures including imposition of administrative fine under the Telecommunication Regulatory Act in the case of any failure in implementation of the order.
In November, 2017, BTRC instructed the mobile phone operators not to register more than 15 SIM cards against an NID card scrapping an earlier provision that allowed holding ownership of 20 SIM cards by an individual.
The commission in November, 2017 had also instructed customers to revoke registration of excess SIM cards by December of that year.
Thursday’s BTRC instruction came from a meeting of the telecom regulator with the telecom operators on progress of ‘Central Biometric Verification Monitoring platform’ on Wednesday.
BTRC officials said the customers holding SIMs more than the allowable limit would have to revoke registration of excess SIM or RIM cards from the mobile phone operators’ customer care centres by the deadline and would be allowed to keep 15 numbers of their choice.
After the deadline, registration of excess SIM or RIM cards would be cancelled on a random basis.
At the meeting, Siddiqui, who presided over the meeting, asked why the mobile phone operators were activating SIM cards before completion of biometric verification in violation of BTRC directive.
In reply, Robi, Grameenphone and Banglalink informed that data of 70,000 Robi SIM cards, 45,000 GP SIM cards and 12,000 Banglalink SIM cards were yet to be synchronized with the Central Biometric Verification Monitoring platform on different grounds.
Siddiqui also instructed the operators not to activate any SIM card without biometric verification through CBVMP system from April 20 this year.
Synesis IT, the operator of Central Biometric Verification Monitoring, would prepare a list of SIM cards which were registered in violation of BTRC instruction by April 3.
Mobile phone operators were instructed to verify the data that would be provided by Synesis by April 15.