Cellular cos directed to stop issuance of SIMs from 3rd day of Eid

RAWALPINDI: The Cellular companies have been directed to stop activation of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) on old pattern from July 31, the third day of Eid-ul-Fitr.
According to a notification of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority
(PTA) all the cellular companies have been directed to stop issuing SIMs and can be activated after biometric verification from August 1,2014 Friday.
From August 1, SIM sale and customer service activities throughout the country will only be possible through company owned customer service centres, franchises and authorised retail outlets equipped with biometric verification machines, a mass awareness message by PTA through a notification said.
Meanwhile, it is learnt the cellular companies would open their important business centres (not franchises) to accommodate their customers during the holidays being observed as part of the festivity. The government has announced Eid holidays from July 29 to August 1.
The public message said, under instruction from the government and directions issued by PTA, the general public was informed all forms of SIM activation by dialing 789 (including pre-sale Short Messaging Service (SMS) through retailers) would stop on July 31.
For biometric SIM activation, the general public has been informed to undertake certain steps for ensuring issuance of authorised SIMs in their favour which include visit only SIM selling outlets that are equipped with biometric verification machines, besides ensuring the subscriber has Computerised National Identity Card in original, while applying for issuance of SIM.  
The buyer of the SIM would give thumb impression on the biometric device for online verification with National Database and Registration Authority and upon successful verification; the SIM will be delivered to the purchaser.
The newly issued SIM will be activated within 30 minutes of successful biometric verification and in case of unsuccessful verification the sales agent would inform the applicant further course of action.
The general public has been asked to comply with this new process in own interest as well as the national security and help PTA in eradicating the menace of unauthorised SIMs.
Activation of the previously purchased SIMs will also be possible through company owned customer service centres, franchises and authorised retail outlets equipped with biometric machines. 

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