Bangladesh's telecom minister Tarana Halim has revealed that SIMs that remain unregistered with biometric authentication will be deactivated shortly after the April 30 registration deadline.
The minister said the unregistered SIMs will at first be deactivated for three hours on May 1 as a warning, the Dhaka Tribunereported.
SIMs that remain unregistered will be deactivated permanently “in a very short time” thereafter, she said.
Only around 70 million of the nation's 130 million mobile users have currently reregistered their SIMs through the biometric authentication system. But Tarana expressed hope that the registration process will be complete by the deadline.
Bangladesh introduced the requirement to register SIMs with biometric authentication as part of efforts to prevent criminal activities including the illegal operation of VoIP businesses. Nearby Pakistan has already introduced such a requirement.
The government, regulator BTRC and operators are now working to raise awareness among mobile users about the need to reregister their SIMs in time for the deadline.