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PTA begins Biometric Verification of Multi Fingertips from SIM Deceit

Pakistan’s cellular subscriber base fell by 0.61 million to 194.14 million at the end of September, compared to 194.75 million at the end of August 2022.

Pakistan’s 3G and 4G user base increased by 0.75 million from 119.84 million at the end of August 2022 to 120.59 million at the end of September 2022. In September, the number of 3G/4G subscribers increased (0.63 percent).

The flood that caused devastation in three provinces and affected one-third of the population was one of the key causes of the drop in SIM sales in September.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has taken the initiative of ‘multiple-finger’ biometric verification for security concerns. It will discourage the usage of unauthorized SIM sales.

Possible explanations for the drop in overall subscribers include:

  1. PTA initiated multiple finger biometric verification activities for enhanced SIM authentication and to combat the issue of illicit SIM sales at the franchise/reseller level, which may result in a decrease in unlawful SIM issuance by operators, resulting in a decrease in cellular mobile subscriptions.
  2. Pakistan experienced exceptionally disastrous floods across three provinces, inundating around one-third of the population; this could explain the drop in SIM purchases in September 2022.
  3. Total mobile subscriber growth was similarly negative in August 2022 (0. 26 percent), which could be attributed to CMOs’ routine SIMS recycling/cleaning actions.

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