Mobile phone company officials, however, said the timeline was too short for collecting such a large number of data
The telecom regulator on Wednesday asked all mobile phone companies to provide information of all their corporate SIM users by November 30 otherwise the SIM connections would be terminated permanently.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) officials said the move was taken on security ground.
Currently, mobile phone companies sell bulk SIM to the corporate clients and one person from the corporate firm is responsible for biometric verification of all the SIMs.
“For example, if a corporate firm takes 100 SIMs for their employees, one designated employee is responsible for biometric verification for all. So, the BTRC and the phone company are unaware who is using the SIMs,” a senior BTRC official told Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday.
He said now the commission asked the mobile phone companies to collect data of all their employees using the corporate connection.
“We asked the phone companies to collect name, designation and NID card copy of the employees who use a corporate SIM,” he said.
He said the move was taken on security ground and the commission would terminate all corporate connection if the mobile operators failed to provide the information within the deadline.
“We will suspend the outgoing calls of all corporate SIM in December. Then if the mobile phone companies fail to provide information, the SIMs would be terminated permanently in January,” he added.
Mobile phone company officials, however, said the timeline was too short for collecting such a large number of data.
“The matter is not entirely in our hand as we have to request our corporate clients to provide the information. Although we support the BTRC move as it involves security, we may need some more time,” a senior official of Banglalink told Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday.
He said the mobile phone companies already started collecting the data.
The government in 2016 made biometric verification mandatory for mobile phone SIM connection on security ground.
The number of mobile phone users in the country witnessed a decline for the first time in 2016 following the government move to register SIMs with biometric verification.
The total number of subscribers reached 13.26 crore in May 2016 but came down to 11.77 crore in August 2016 as the operators lost around 1.50 crore subscribers after the end of biometric SIM registration deadline of May 31.