The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has taken steps to deactivate more than 15 SIMs registered under one national identity (NID).
The telecom regulator has identified a total of such 31,26,577 SIM cards under 7,23,923 NIDs, which will be deactivated by November 30.
As per the BTRC decision, a subscriber is allowed to register maximum 15 SIMs against his/her NID card. The decision has been taken in a recent commission meeting.
To deactivate more than 3.0 million SIMs, the BTRC will take a number of steps.
The BTRC's Central Biometrics Verification Monitoring Platform (CBVMP) will first list the SIMs, and the list will be sent to the operators concerned, according to its decision.
The operators will contact the SIM owners and request them to bring down the number of SIMs to 15. The operators will be asked to send SMS to the clients to do so.
Both the BTRC and the operators will also publish notices on websites and news media to inform the matter to public. The process will continue until October 15.
If the SIM users do not deactivate the SIMs by the time, the CBVMP and the operators will list 15 SIMs - based on revenue of last six months and MFS accounts - by October 31. Then the list of additional SIMs will be sent to the operators for deregistration by November 30.
On 12 June 2016, the BTRC decided to allow each consumer to use maximum 20 SIM cards. On 24 October 2017, the commission revised its decision and set the number at 15.
The BTRC has several times urged the consumers, who have more than 15 SIM cards, to deactivate their extra contact numbers from the respective customer care centres by themselves.
An official said it was not possible for the BTRC to deactivate the SIMs, as it did not have combine data of the users, including their NID, voter ID, vehicle registration number, and passport number.
However, people - who have corporate permission to buy SIM - will be out of purview of this deactivation, he added.
The users can find out the number of SIM cards they have against their passport, NID, driving licence or birth certificate in two ways - by dialing *16001# and sending the last four digits of NID number when asked through USSD code, or by sending SMS to 16001 typing the last four digits of NID number.