The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has told mobile operators to cease the practice of activating SIM cards without confirming the subscriber’s identity within three months, following a decision to ban selling pre-activated SIM cards taken in a meeting with law enforcement officials on 11 July, the regulator’s chairman Zia Ahmed told bdnews24.com. ‘The operators have been asked to take systematic measures in this direction within three months. Legal action will be taken against them if they are found activating any more SIM cards from 11 October without [confirming] the identification of the subscriber,’ he declared, adding, ‘often the operators pass the blame on to the retailers for selling non-registered SIM cards. But [from] now on, the operators will be responsible if any new SIM is activated without proper scrutiny of subscriber’s given details.’ The SIM owner registration scheme is intended to help fight criminal activity via mobile phones, but operators have claimed that it will be difficult to implement within three months as the national database to verify users’ identities is not yet ready for commercial use. The BTRC published its SIM Registration Guidelines for operators on 3 July.
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