Mobile operators agree to biometric system installation


All mobile operators in the country have agreed to install the biometric system and increased the SIM verification fee from Rs 13 to Rs 28 per transaction, a media outfit reported on Monday.
The installation of complete biometric equipment at every point of sale (POS) would cost between Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 per outlet.
Mobile operators have agreed to bear the cost of purchasing the required devices that will be installed at some 75,000 POS across the country.
The installation of the biometric system at some 70,000-75,000 POS across Pakistan will take a minimum of one year and cost approximately Rs 2.8 billion based on the availability of specialised equipment which will be imported from abroad.
A source in the telecom industry said, “Keeping in view the national security requirements, the cellular operators have agreed upon the installation. Even in the past, all mobile operators have complied with the directives issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the government of Pakistan.” “If bringing in biometric system can increase national security, then we are ready to welcome the new system,” the source said. The sources added that the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) related payment by mobile operators (for SIM verification through biometric) would now increase from Rs 13 to Rs 28 per transaction. In the last 3-4 years, mobile operators have spent almost Rs2 billion in NADRA charges for different types of SIM verification processes, they added.