STAFF REPORT IBD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has revised the limit for purchase of SIMs from 50 to five for one individual in its amended Subscribers Antecedents Verification Regulations.

According to the new rule of the Authority, an individual can have five SIMs – prepaid or postpaid – on one CNIC from different or one cellular phone companies.

The Authority has issued its new orders following the direction of Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who asked the PTA to stop illegal sale in Balochistan and restrict one subscriber to five SIMs.

Officials of the cellular phone companies fear of blocking millions of SIMs if the orders is implemented on overall subscribers base as there are scores of individuals having many SIMs registered on their CNICs.

However, they will be happy complying with the new directives for the sale of new subscribers as soon as the authority formulates the mechanism or Standard Operating Procedures.

On the contrast, analysts of the telecom sector said the cleansing of illegal and unregistered SIMs must be vital for existing subscribers base totaling 112 million.

According to experts, the new regulations will have a negative impact for cellular phone companies though it will help authorities to stop the illegal sale and misuse of mobile phone particularly in criminal activities.

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