New Biometric System Launched to Curb Fake SIM Cards

 To stop the sale of counterfeit SIM cards, an enhanced version of the biometric authentication system has been launched in Pakistan. This was a joint effort between the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), National Database and Regulation Authority (NADRA), and telecom companies. 

Telecom companies will now use a Multi-Finger Biometric Verification System (MBVS) to verify users’ identities before issuing a new SIM. On Friday, NADRA and the telecom operators signed a contract at PTA headquarters.

The signing ceremony was attended by Chairman PTA Maj. General Amir Azeem Bajwa (R), Chairman NADRA Mr. Muhammad Tariq Malik, PTA Member Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar, Additional Director General at FIA, and several representatives from telcos.

PTA Chairman lauded the efforts of telcos and NADRA for upgrading its systems to MBVS. He also said that the new system would act as a catalyst for controlling the sales of fake SIMs.

All network provider sales offices have had to replace their biometric verification devices including Jazz, Ufone, Zong, Telenor, and others. The BVS devices at sale channels have been upgraded to meet the requirements of the new system through NADRA and Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs). 

Officials claim that the new biometric verification system will make it impossible for scammers to obtain SIM cards through fake fingerprints. 

For authentication purposes, the new system will require multiple finger impressions (instead of just a thumb impression in old systems) before issuing a duplicate or new SIM card.

The system will randomly ask for two impressions of each finger, which is a move to minimize human control over the process.

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