Pakistan's mobile operators have blocked some 1.36 million SIM cards since the beginning of the year after their owners failed to register them as is now required. In addition, even subscribers who did register their details had a limit of 10 SIMs per person imposed and any additional SIM cards were cut off.
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A Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) official told the Dawn newspaper that despite the media campaign had been suspended in the first week of this month, the authority will continue to carryout surveys/ground checks of outlets (franchisees/retailers) on a regular basis and mobile companies will be held responsible for any violation on part of registered or unregistered franchisees or retailers.
The regulator issued a requirement last year forcing all mobile phone users to register their details with the phone operators - and a clarification was issued in February to the operators to make the registration process easier.
According to figures from the Mobile World database, Pakistan ended last year with some 76.9 million subscribers, so the loss of 1.36 million subscribers if evenly distributed amongst the operators, while not insignificant is unlikely to be catastrophic.
In related news, India has alleged that Pakistanís nine mobile phone towers erected along the border have security-related implications. Tests carried out by the Ministry of State for Home Affairs tested 44 locations inside the Indian border and reported to have found mobile signals from the Pakistani operators leaking across the border at 39 location.
Source: Cellular News.