Just one NID was used to register over 14,000 SIM cards, and another NID came to a close second, having been used to register over 11,000 SIM cards. Needless to say, all of these registrations are fake.
With this piece of information, State Minister for Telecom Tarana Halim started her meeting with representatives from the six mobile telcos. Gradually, she brought up the total number of subscribers these mobile operators have and how the numbers matched up with SIM cards registered along with the NIDs of the users.
Tarana Halim stated that of the 13 crore SIMs in operation, the government has received information on only 1 crore, of which a staggering 75% turned out to be either fake or incorrect. She further added that the after the data supplied by the telcos were cross matched with NIDs, the situation does not seem to be very positive. Between all the six operators combined, only 6,179 NIDs have been used to register the SIM cards. Of the 1 crore cards that have been verified, only 23 lakh 43 thousand 680 were found to be valid.
Expressing the concern that the illegally registered connections could be used in criminal activities, the State Minister said that the amount of information supplied by the telcos is highly inadequate, as information for only 7.65% of the 13 crore SIM cards have been obtained.
Among the operators, Airtel has provided information on 14,04,938 SIMs, Banglalink on 23,55,000, Citycell on 4,14,000 subscriptions, Robi on 18,00,000 and Teletalk supplied information on 16,00,000 subscriptions. Grameenphone- the country’s largest operator, lagged seriously behind the other operators with supplying info on only 22 lakh SIMs out of their 5 crore subscribers. This implies that a staggering 95% of Grameenphone SIMs are unregistered.
The State Minister informed that from 1st November, the telecom operators will start implementing biometric scanning on an experimental basis for SIM registration. Following the test phase, the final procedures will start from 16th December.
Urging conscious subscribers to to register their SIM cards properly, Tarana Halim hoped that everyone would ensure the security of their mobile subscriptions by themselves. She further added that those below 18 years old will also need to register their SIMs with the NID of their legal guardians. If any crimes are committed by these SIMs, then the person under whose NID the SIM has been registered will be held responsible.