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Biometric SIM registration glitches identified, exercise starts Wednesday

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2015-12-14 01:26:08 BdST

File Photo

Biometric registration of mobile-phone SIM cards will officially commence after glitches are fixed, State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim has said.

There were complaints of the system failing to match the fingerprints of many subscribers with the data in the national identity card databank.  

Tarana said in reply to a question on Sunday that the problem arose because of incorrect entry of NID numbers, rebutting allegations that the biometric system fingerprints were at variance with the NID data.  

She said the glitches detected during the trial conducted from Nov 1 had been set right.

The biometric registration of SIM cards would officially begin from Dec 16, she said.

“The trial threw up a few problems we had not anticipated. For instance, the fingerprints of some were not matching and, in case of some others, they were not being registered at all,” Tarana told

Steps had already been taken, she said, to rectify the faults.

She added that, according to NID experts, incorrect entry of NID numbers had often caused the errors.

On Oct 21, Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Advisor Sajeeb Ahmed Wajed Joy had set trial rolling by getting a SIM card registered in his name through the biometric system.

From Nov 1, subscribers have been trying out the biometric system at the offices of mobile-phone operators.

The operators will officially begin biometric registration from Dec 16. 

The government decided to scrutinise subscribers’ data and ordered SIM re-registration in the face of mounting complaints of fake and unregistered cards being used for criminal activities. 

A scrutiny of 10 million cards revealed only 2.34 million were properly registered.

There are six mobile-phone operators at present, including the state-owned Teletalk.

According to BTRC figures, Bangladesh had a little over 130 million mobile subscribers at the end of October this year.