The telecom operators are not fully cooperating with the government to ensure subscriber verification through biometric fingerprinting, State Minister for Telecom Tarana Halim said in a meeting at her office yesterday. Biometric registration for mobile SIMs was introduced in November last year to curb terrorism and militancy in the country.
“So far, I received around 300 specific allegations on my Facebook page against the mobile phone operators for non-cooperation in biometric registration,” said Tarana at a meeting with the Telecom Reporters' Network Bangladesh.
“I called the chief executive officers of all the mobile phone operators for a meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue,” she added.
Although the operators have invested a huge amount on the biometric verification processes, full cooperation is not seen all the time, she said.
“There is no scope to go slow as this is of high priority, and we will be tough on the issue.” The government plans to biometrically verify all active SIMs -- 13.32 crore as of December 2015, Tarana said.
“After completing the process, we plan to collaborate with the airport authorities to help keep record of the people who enter and leave the country,” she added. The government also wants to carry out 'smart city' projects in the divisional cities, using biometrically registered SIMs as identification for mobile-based online services, she said.
Tarana said she is using her Facebook page as a tool to communicate with the users, getting ideas, and service complaints.
She is set to launch a database of the unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of all legally imported handsets on February 6, which will help curb mobile theft. Mobile operators declined to comment on the issue of non-cooperation in biometric SIM registration.