Bangladesh to block 3m registered SIMs

06 Mar 2018

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has announced it will block 3 million SIMs as part of a crackdown on violations of the limits on the number of SIMs that can be registered against one national ID card.

Local regulations prohibit more than 15 SIMs from being registered using one national ID card. At the end of last year, the government gave subscribers a two-month window to deactivate their excess cards, but the response was low.

Now the regulator is taking matters into its own hands with plans to block excess SIMs at random without providing prior notice, the Daily Starreported.

The BTRC estimates that around 500,000 national ID cards have had more than 15 SIMs registered to them.

According to the report, the SIM blocking process will commence soon. State-owned operator Teletalk may be spared from the cull.

The BTRC last year proposed to bring down the number of SIMs that can be registered to any one card from 20 to 5, but local mobile operators strongly objected to the plan on the grounds that many legitimate connections could be affected. The regulator and the industry subsequently negotiated a compromise of the current cap of 15 SIMs per card.

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