PTA extends waiting period for ‘New SIM Only’ to seven days


ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced that it has revised its standard operating procedure (SOP), extending the waiting period for acquiring a new SIM from eight hours to seven days, Geo News reported on Tuesday.

This clarification was issued by the PTA in response to misconceptions surrounding its letter titled ‘Increasing Buffer between New SIM Sale Sessions from 8 hours to 7 days,’ which was released on January 18.

Presently, an eight-hour interval exists between successive biometric verifications from NADRA for SIM-related transactions. This interval is being extended to seven days exclusively for new SIMs.

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The purpose behind this adjustment is to thwart the tactics employed by fraudulent groups who swiftly activate multiple illegal SIMs for deceptive activities under the guise of consumer surveys, NGOs, and free ration schemes targeting unsuspecting citizens, the PTA explained.

The telecommunications authority further clarified that the initial issuance of a new SIM can be carried out immediately upon the presentation of a CNIC through biometric verification. However, for any subsequent new SIMs on the same CNIC, the subscriber will need to wait for seven days for biometric verification by NADRA.

PTA emphasised that this amendment in SOP does not impact the activation of duplicate SIMs or other SIM-related transactions, including changes of ownership and Mobile Number Portability (MNP).

The SOP amendment is set to take effect from January 24 and is part of the regulatory measures implemented to safeguard against unauthorised or fraudulent issuance of SIM cards.

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