Biometric SIM Registration Begins

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In order to contain criminal activities being coordinated and conducted by miscreants, the government had undertaken a biometric scanning system for SIM registration- a project that has now started on an experimental basis. Starting from Sunday, the six telcos have implemented finger print scanning at their designated customer care centres. Among the telcos, Grameenphone will be offering biometric scanning in 79 centres while Robi, Banglalink and Airtel will be providing the facility in 46, 12 and 9 centres respectively.

The other two operators- Citycell and Teletalk are offering the service only in their main customer service point in Dhaka according to sources, but no was able to answer if they plan on increasing the scope of the service.

Tarana Halim, State Minister for Post and Telecom, inspected the SIM registration booths of the telcos on the very first day. While speaking with telco officials as well as subscribers, she informed that the biometric SIM registration will officially start from 16th December, and the experimental implementation will show how prepared the operators are.

“Bangladesh is only the second country which has implemented finger print scanning as a way to verify the real owner of a SIM card.”

Several senior officials from the Telecom Division along with BTRC Chairman Shajahan Mahmood were present at the time, one of whom said, “Bangladesh is only the second country which has implemented finger print scanning as a way to verify the real owner of a SIM card.”

Syed Talat Kamal, Head of External Communications at Grameenphone , stated “We have started the experimental phase in 79 customer care centres within and outside of Dhaka city with equipment recommended by BTRC. Gradually, the number of biometric registration points will be increased.”

Banglalink’s PR executive Ankit Sureka informed that Banglalink has started with 12 customer care centres, but pretty soon 95 Banglalink points and as well as 114 more designated Banglalink service points will be added to the list.

“We have started the biometric SIM registration as per the government’s directive and have already equipped 46 customer service points across the country with the necessary instruments.”

Ikram Kabir, VP of PR at Robi stated, “We have started the biometric SIM registration as per the government’s directive and have already equipped 46 customer service points across the country with the necessary instruments. We have already started rolling out updated SIMs from these centres and from 16th December, all of our 40,000 retailers will be involved in the process.” He further added that Robi plans to add another 70 service centres by the end of the year to offer biometric registration services.

Airtel spokesperson Shamit Mahbub said that 9 customer centres across the country, inlcuding 6 in Dhaka, will be offering biometric registration services. Initially the serrvice will be limited to Dhaka, Chittagong, Bogura and Sylhet but gradually, by 16th December, the service will be offered across all Airtel service centres as well as top-up points across the country.

Previously, ICT Advisor to the Prime Minister Sajeeb Wazed Joy inaugurated the biometric registration process on 21st October.

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