Update December 13, 2015

Dhaka 12-19 pm, 24-October, 2020

Biometric SIM registration begins December 16

Sumel Sarker


Biometric SIM registration begins December 16

13 December 2015, Nirapad News: Overcoming all difficulties through trial and errors during piloting, the government is set
to start biometric SIM registration officially on December 16, the Victory Day of Bangladesh.

“The problems that appeared during the trial process have been minimized so we could run the official SIM registration
using biometric system from December 16 smoothly,” State Minister for Post and Telecommunications Tarana Halim told BSS

Bangladesh as the second country has taken the initiative to introduce the human body-based indentifying system to ensure
the ownership of cellular phone number to curb telephony crimes. The process will be launched at a ceremony at Bangladesh
Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) at 10:30 am.

On November 15, all the cellular phone operators started the trial of the registration system at its customer care centers
by installing biometric verification devices which are linked with the national identity card database of Election Commission (EC). But, the biometric verification witnessed mismatch between the
subscribers’ fingerprints taken at their customer centers and those stored in the NID database.

Fingerprint, generally thumbprint, generates a unique binary code that is stored in the EC’s NID database and when the
subscribers verify that, the machines in the operators’ outlet should produce the same binary code. When those two codes
mismatch, the thumbprint verification shows negative result.

About the errors, Tarana Halim said, “Initially, there were some problems which we did not expect. But, later we had been
able to solve those.”

She said sometimes they found that entry of national identity card number during the process was not completed correctly,
rather one or two digit were excluded mistakenly that’s why there were some unsuccessful results. But, they thought it
happened for mismatching fingerprint, added Tarana.

“During the piloting, evaluating different kinds of feedback from the operators and election commission, all the problems
have been solved. Now, we are ready to run it,” the state minister said.

Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy inaugurated trial on October 22 by registering a SIM of state-owned
Teletalk for himself through giving fingerprint.

Currently, Bangladesh has six mobile phone operators including Teletalk. The other five are Grameenphone, Robi, Airtel,
Banglalink and Citycell.

According to BTRC, more than 130 million of Bangladesh’s 160 million people had mobile phone SIMs until August this year.
Of them, 52.5 million had internet connections.

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