Biometric SIM registration starts
16 December 2015, Nirapad News: Biometric SIM registration system was launched today to ensure the digital identity of the subscribers of cellular phone operators.
From tomorrow, nobody could buy new cellular phone connection without providing fingerprint at the customer care center of the operator.
State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim inaugurated the process at a ceremony at the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) in the city this noon.
Bangladesh as the second country has taken the initiative to introduce the human body-based identifying system to ensure the ownership of mobile numbers to curb crimes made through mobiles.
The government has decided to allow a person to register 20 SIM cards against his/her national identity card.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Tarana Halim said: “The new journey what we started today would bear our digital identity.”
She said from now all new connections have to be collected following the system.
“We’ve planned to complete the biometric SIM registration system within next four months (by April) to ensure make available the digital identity,” hoped the state minister.
Tarana sought cooperation from people, cellular phone operators and BTRC to do the job smoothly.
On November 15, all the mobile 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.
“The problems that appeared during the trial process have been minimized so we could run the SIM registration using biometric system smoothly,’ said the state minister.
BTRC Director Brig General Emdadul Bari said the operators have installed 81,500 devices, which would be increased to over one lakh, at their customer care centers to carry on the registration process.
Earlier, Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy inaugurated the trial on October 22 by registering a SIM of state-owned Teletalk for himself through giving fingerprint.
BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood said, “we just entered the row of developed countries through the journey as we will ensure the subscriber’s identity digitally what has been doing by them.”
Terming the journey (biometric registration) as another victory for the country, the BTRC chief urged the operators to give reminder to the customers for completing the registration.
Currently, Bangladesh has six mobile phone operators including Teletalk.
The other five are Grameenphone, Robi, Airtel, Banglalink and Citycell.