Pakistan Telecommunication Authority(PTA) has recently issued a new Standard Operating Procedure(SOP) for all Wireless Local Loop WLL operators nationwide which implements Biometric Verification System(BVS). This comes after PTA previously implemented BVS on all Telcos and also ordered reverification of all existing voice/data connections. This verification is already in place on all 3G/4G dongles by mobile broadband companies.
As per this new policy, customers will have to verify their identity through thumb impression to confirm that the CNIC they are using for activation of their internet connection is legitimate, original and it belongs to them.
As per PTA’s SOP, a customer has to present CNIC at Customer Service Centers of ISPs before making a purchase of a new connection. After which customer will have to record the thumb impression that will be matched with NADRA’s database. Finally the customer will be issued a new active internet connection.
It’s pertinent to mention that this implementation will have its fair share of benefits such as issuance of new connections to verified persons and better accountability of unpaid dues. Thus devices issued to customers can be recovered easily in case of discontinuation of services.
Furthermore, it does come with some challenges as well because there would be a huge influx of reverification subscribers at service centers/franchises, hence the staff would be overloaded during this period. Walk-in customers could be highly affected. Hence ISPs should induct sufficient workforce to deal with the rising number of consumers.
Following implementation timelines have been decided for BVS:
1) Deployment of BVS at Customer Service Centers by Nov, 2015.
2) Deployment of BVS at franchises and retailers by Dec, 2015.
3) Cessation of existing process of verification by Jan, 2016.
4) Re-verification of all existing connections, i.e those sold before implementation of BVS should be done within a time period of 2 months after BVS deployment is completed by Feb, 2016.