Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Monday started a multi-finger biometric verification system for stronger SIM authentication in order to avoid fraud and illegal sale of SIM cards at franchises and retailers.
According to Business Recorder, the multi-finger biometric SIM verification will help to reduce the illegal issuance of SIM by operators that resulted in the decline in cellular mobile subscriptions.
The number of cellular subscribers as well as teledensity declined for the second consecutive month in Pakistan during September 2022, while the number of cellular subscribers in Pakistan decreased by 0.61 million to 194.14 million by the end of September compared to 194.75 million by end of August 2022.
The total teledensity decreased from 89.4 percent by August to 89.17 percent by end-September. Meanwhile, the number of 3G and 4G users in Pakistan increased by 0.75 million from 119.84 million by end-August 2022 to 120.59 million by end-September.
Furthermore, the Monthly Next Generation Mobile Service (NGMS) penetration increased from 54.35 percent by end-August to 54.65 percent by end-September.
A top PTA Official told Business Recorder that telecom indicators data depicts a decline in the number of total mobile subscription in Pakistan from 194.7 million to 194.14 million i.e. 0.31 percent decrease in the month of September 2022.
However, positive growth in 3G/4G subscribers is experienced in September (0.63 percent). Meanwhile,decline in total subscriptions could be a result of the following:
- PTA Initiated multiple fingers biometric verification activity for stronger SIM authentication and to counter the issue of illegal SIM sales at franchise /resellers level which may result into decline of illegal SIM issuance by operators that resulted in decline in cellular mobile subscription
- Pakistan witnessed unprecedented devastating floods across three provinces where about 1/3rd of the population was inundated, this could be reason for decline in SIM sales in the month of September, 2022
- in August 2022 total mobile subscribers growth also experienced negative growth (0. 26 percent which could be due to recycling/ cleaning of SIMS activities that CMOs carry out on regular basis.
Network-Wise User Count
The total count for 3G users on Jazz declined from 5.653 million to 5.456 million from August-end to September-end, which is a decrease of 0.197 million, while Jazz 4G users increased from 39.965 million to 40.485 million during the same period.
Meanwhile, Zong 3G subscribers decreased from 3.023 million in August-end to 2.933 million by September-end, while number of 4G users increased from 30.218 million by August to 30.571 million by September’s end.
Similarly, Telenor 3G subscribers decreased from 3.365 million by August to 3.260 million September’s end, while the number of 4G users of Telenor increased from 22.523 million by August-end to 22.534 million by September-end.
Lastly, Ufone 3G users dropped to 3.129 million by September-end compared to 3.398 million by August-end, while the number of 4G users increased from 10.292 million by August-end to 10.703 million by September-end.