Thursday, 22 January 2015

PTA has Blocked over 60,000 Websites So Far!


Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has blocked some 60,000 websites so far in the country, out of which 50,000 websites were adult in nature while remaining 10,000 come under the head of blasphemous content and those from anti-state elements.

This was revealed by Chairman PTA, Dr. Ismail Shah in Islamabad High Court where a petition is being heard that has challenged the legal position of Inter-Ministerial Committee and the process that is involved in blocking of the websites.



Chairman PTA explained the court that majority of websites (which are adult in nature) are blocked after complaints are received from the common citizens, while there are other websites — such are YouTube — that are blocked after court orders.

Dr. Shah also submitted a list of blocked websites in a sealed documents that were blocked on the direction of security agencies. Some of the websites are being operated by banned outfits and those by anti-state elements.

Mudassir Hussain, member telecom from IT ministry requested the court to revisit the earlier order in which the court had restrained the authority from blocking any website without its approval.

Court, while granting the access to block websites, allowed PTA to start considering the complaints about the blockade of websites.

The court also directed PTA and information technology (IT) ministry officials to submit a detailed report on the issue on next hearing.

Counsels are expected to close their arguments during next hearing.

Everything You Need to Know About Windows 10


Microsoft has finally unveiled its next operating system, Windows 10. The latest event offered a nice look at the features that users can expect with Windows 10 across PCs, smartphones and tablets. Microsoft representatives emphasized and reemphasized that all these features would make for a much smoother experience.

Let’s start with the cosmetic changes

Joe Belfiore took the stage to announce a modernized Start menu to begin with. A subject of much debate with Windows 8, the Start menu can now set out a traditional list as it used to with older versions and it can also be expanded to fill the entire display. Speaking of display, the Continuum feature allows transition from modern UI to desktop UI as users shift from PC to touchscreen devices.



Windows 10 will offer enhanced multitasking with the Task View feature. The Action Center has been improved with a few tweaks here and there such as activating WiFi and Bluetooth upon clicking quick action buttons. Notifications displayed in the Action Center can also be expanded. For ease of access, Control Panel has also been merged with PC settings rather than having the two in separate locations.

Welcome to PC, Cortana

Rest assured, Cortana has been tailored to suit PC interactions. That’s right, assistant Cortana has finally been promoted from Windows Phones to desktop. She is just as resourceful as we have known her to be on mobile devices. Suffice it to say, the reminder and search features she carries will prove helpful for Windows 10 users. Users may ask for her help by calling her out or via text.

A full-fledged conversation that Belfiore had with Cortana at the event seems to suggest that her voice has a natural flow to it. Moreover, she seems to be witty, impulsive and extremely responsive as ever. Belfiore was able to get her to locate his PowerPoint slides, display his photos and play his music in an instant.

This is Project Spartan!

A nice and tidy browser saw the light of day as Belfiore demonstrated a report by The Verge. It’s yet to have a name, though. Wish to highlight something? Simply circle it with your finger. It doesn’t require a stylus to do that. Use a mouse instead, if you so desire. Designed using a new rendering engine, this new browser offers a flurry of modes to users besides just the convenience of use.

The Note taking mode allows users to annotate webpages and later share them with the help of the Share feature with Windows 10. Users also have the option to copy chunks of information off of websites and save it to OneNote using the clipping tool.

Spartan is a new web browser that has been built for the modern web from scratch

In addition, Reading mode sets a book-like layout for content that makes it easy on the eyes. It keeps out all those annoying ads that hamper your reading experience. The Reading list can sync your content across multiple devices for you to view later.

Cortana accompanies you here as well. She will be at your service with maps and directions if you happen to be on the road. Moreover, she offers weather details whenever you frequent the URL bar. What’s more, she would bring up the menu and contact details of a restaurant as you begin browsing its website.

PC Gaming and Xbox

Phil Spencer from Xbox managed to troll the viewers by showing Forza Horizon 2 being played on the screen before revealing that it was merely being streamed. Gamers can also use an Xbox app to share gaming clips with friends across Xbox Live, be it Xbox console owners or PC gamers. All it takes is a shortcut (Windows key + G) to access an interface for saving a screenshot or recording 30 seconds of video.

DirectX 12 API is also headed to Windows 10 which can bump performance of games by 50 percent. Microsoft seems to be taking baby steps in promoting cross play with a title like Fable Legends announced as one that Xbox One and Windows 10 gamers can play with one another. Also, full-fledged activity feed and messaging support have been introduced to make this experience ‘universal’ for gamers as they share messages across desktop and Xbox platforms.

Universal PC apps

Microsoft has been busy on creating apps tailored for the PC platform. Outlook is one of them. The app looks cleaner and simpler than before given that it has been designed in Word’s engine. Users have the option to personalize it such that the look matches their taste.

A modernized Calendar app was also unveiled which carries across all three platforms. OneDrive storage is also better and smarter than ever before at displaying a simple view of photos you store. The Photos app on board does not need to be prompted to enhance your photos; it simply does it on its own by removing red eye and adjusting the exposure. Similarly, People, Music and Maps apps will receive an overhaul before they are introduced across the board.

When can I access these features?

All these features will be available to users in the upcoming Windows 10 Preview build starting next week. Also, keep an eye out for the Windows 10 build for smartphones that you can enjoy after Super Bowl. Windows 10’s consumer version is expected to debut sometime around the end of the year.

Best Budget Smartphones Under PKR 25,000


Do you feel uncomfortable with the idea of dishing out over Rs. 50,000 for a top-of-the-line smartphone? It’s not at all surprising to note that many people can’t reason with squandering so much on a smartphone. Good news is that you can pay significantly lesser and still enjoy the complete smartphone experience.

Motorola Moto G (2014 edition)

moto g 2014



This iteration of Moto G simply builds on the impressive mix that the predecessor proved to be. The new dual SIM Moto G brings along a slightly bigger display and a much enhanced camera. It features a 5-inch 720p IPS display that is nearly as sharp as the original Moto G’s. The camera has an improved 8-megapixel sensor that is capable of capturing better quality images and videos.

The new Moto G packs a Snapdragon 400 Quad core processor under the hood. It’s well capable of running most operations with Android 4.4 KitKat at its back. The addition of microSD card now means that users can finally exapand storage; a feature that wasn’t available before. Motorola advertizes the dual front facing speakers with much zest but they aren’t really something to write home about.

Minimum price: Rs. 19,999

Sony Xperia M2

sony xperia m2

If looks matter to you atleast as much as the phone specs and price, you probably shouldn’t overlook this beauty. The M2 resembles the stylish Z2 if you look at it from a distance. That doesn’t mean it looks displeasing up close; quite the contrary actually. The phone homes a 4.8-inch qHD display with a resolution of 960×540 pixels. The resolution may be on the lower side but that also contributes to speed.

Snapdragon 400 Quad core processor keeps things ticking and runs the Android 4.3 that rests below Sony’s own interface. An 8-megapixel camera takes advantage of the exciting camera modes introduced on Xperia Z2. Moreover, the battery will last you up to two days depending on your usage. There’s even 4G support to help you connect to the world significantly faster.

Minimum price: Rs. 22,499

Asus Zenfone 5

asus zenfone 5

Asus is renowned for the build quality of its phones. Lately, it has made a mark with bang for buck smartphones in Zenfone series. The Zenfone 5 is no exception. The smartphone manages to offer itself for cheap while offering so much to the user. It’s the second smartphone in this range to offer 2GB of RAM.

The 5-inch 720p IPS display is a treat to look at. Besides that, there is an 8-megapixel shooter to satisfy your urge for photography. The Intel Atom Z2580 Dual core processor takes charge of running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box. Users can always upgrade it to Android 4.4 KitKat if they wish.

Minimum price: Rs. 21,999

Motorola Moto E

Motorola Moto E

If you thought Moto G was cheap, Motorola went even crazier with the pricing of Moto E smartphone. Frankly, it’s not the revolutionary that Moto G proved to be but Moto E still manages to better most in terms of basics. The phone comes equipped with a 4.3-inch display that is passable, to be fair. The Gorilla Glass 3 does add an extra bit of protection to the 540p screen, though.

With features such as Motorola Migrate, Alert and Assist apps, it runs Android 4.4.2 without hogging it with a customized layer. Dual core Snapdragon 200 processor is a moderate addition but one that gets the job done. Don’t expect wonders with graphics intensive games, though. The 5-megapixel camera without a front-facer and flash might be a bummer for some. However, the front-facing speaker and above average battery life qualify as nice additions to the mix.

Minimum price: Rs. 12,900

Xiaomi Redmi Note

Xiaomi Redmi Note

Xiaomi has made quite a name for itself with the value for money that its smartphones promise. Xiaomi Redmi Note mimics the specs of Galaxy Note 3 while costing so much lesser. That says a lot about a Chinese company trying to take the competition head first. The hardened glass for screen protection adds a bit of bulk to the phone but that may not worry many given the phone’s impressive specs.

The 5.5-inch 720p IPS display sports a pixel density of 267ppi. There’s Android 4.4.2 Jelly Bean with Xiaomi’s own MIUI 5 to complement it. The 1.7GHz Octa core Cortex A7 CPU along with 2GB of RAM power this dual SIM beast like no other in this range. There’s also a 13-megapixel camera with LED flash that records videos at 1080p. Moreover, the 5-megapixel front facing camera will fulfill your selfie desires.

Minimum price: Rs. 23,990

Note 1: The minimum price reflects the lowest manufacturer pricing. The prices are higher when imported or purchased in Pakistan but still fall under PKR 25,000.

Note 2: These phones are readily available at most online Pakistani shops.

PTCL Limits its EVO and Nitro Packages at 50 GB per Month


Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has put a fair usage policy limit on its EVO and Nitro packages, that were previously offered with unlimited downloads.

According to PTCL’s website, both EVO and Nitro packages will now allow 50GB of maximum download/upload data per month.



Monthly download limit of 75GBs will be applicable on Nitro Cloud packages as well.

It maybe recalled that PTCL’s EVO services are charge at Rs. 2,100 per month while Nitro services are charged at Rs. 2,999 per month.

PTCL has not announced any additional charges if this limit of 50GB per month on EVO and Nitro is reached. It is still unclear that how customers will use any additional bandwidth if Fair Usage Policy is reached in a month.

Certain PTCL’s DSL packages are also limited.

It merits mentioning here that EVO and Nitro are PTCL’s flagship wireless broadband services.

PTCL has over 1 million customers using its EVO and Nitro Services.

PTCL Announces New Tariffs for CharJi EVO


Amid competition from cellular operators, PTCL has announced new plans for its CharJi service that is theoretically capable of delivering 36Mbps wireless broadband speeds.

Now available with different monthly data limits, EVO Charji service comes at as low as Rs. 1,800 per month. Additionally, a new plan is also introduced with monthly limit of 100GBs.



Not to mention, data limits are something that users have disapproved so far. But considering all wireless broadband services come with a data cap, EVO services are still considered a better choice if you are heavy data user on the go.

PTCL is clearly facing tough time from 3G operators, and this why they had to explicitly mention that their CharJi service is four to five times faster than 3G networks.

To have better idea of how heated the broadband market is, check below comparison chart that PTCL has posted on its Facebook page.

Charji

CharJi Features

Plug ‘n’ Play connectivity with Charji EVO dongle
Multiple device connectivity with Charji EVO Cloud
Seamless coverage in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad/Rawalpindi
Backward compatibility for seamless 3G connectivity in 250+ EVDO covered cities
Peak service data rate of up to 18-36Mbps Download & 7-14Mbps on uploads (Depending on network capability and environment)
Average speeds of 5-15 Mbps on downlink & 2-5 Mbps on uplink
CharJi EVO Tariff

Charji Starter (20GB Monthly Volume): Rs. 1,800 per month
Charji Chrome (30GB Monthly Volume): Rs. 2,500 per month
Charji Gold (50GB Monthly Volume): Rs. 4,000 per month
Charji Unlimited (100GB Monthly Volume): Rs. 6,000 per month
Note: Additional Charji Bucket can be availed at Rs.500 for 5GB. Prices are inclusive of all taxes.

CharJi Device Prices

One time device charges and specs are as following:

Charji Wingle: Rs. 2,500
CharJi Wi-Fi modem in the form of a USB Stick (Plug-n-Share).
May be powered by any external usb power source.
Supports CDMA2000 1x EV-DO Rev.B Standard with fall-back option for Rev.B 9.3 Mbps connectivity in 200+ cities in Pakistan.
Connects up to 10 WiFi gadgets simultaneously.
MicroSD Card sharing over WiFi.
Remote access to microSD card over the web.
Huawei Charji Cloud: Rs. 3,500
CharJi Dual Mode mobile hotspot device.
Connects up to 10 Wi-Fi gadgets simultaneously.
1.45” TFT LCD Screen on the front with menu style user interface.
MicroSD Card sharing over WiFi Interface.
Remote access to microSD card over the web.
1500 mAh battery with up to 5 hours of usage.
Backward compatibility for Rev.B (seamless 9.3 Mbps 3G connectivity in 200+ rev.b covered cities)
Charji Cloud A: Rs. 3,500
Connects up to 10 Wi-Fi gadgets simultaneously
1700 mAh Li-ion battery for up to 4 hours support
Backward compatibility for seamless 3G connectivity in 250+ EVDO covered cities
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Charji Cloud B: Rs. 3,500
Speeds of up to 36Mbps with auto Fall back to 9.3Mbps speeds in 200+cities
Connects up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled gadgets simultaneously
Outstanding battery life to support 5hrs+ usage
Data sharing functionality through micro SD slot (upto 32GB supported)
USB mode & Wifi 802.11b/g/n connection
External antenna port supported
Business Rules:

Offer is valid on both prepay and postpay bundles.
5 Gb Bucket for Rs. 500 available upon volume exhaustion on both prepay & postpay.
Maximum of 2 Postpay bucket charges billed in monthly invoice per month.
Unlimited number of bucket recharges on prepay.

Win a Samsung 10.1’’ Tablet by Taking the ISOC Regional Policy Survey


Following the success of its 2014 Regional Policy Survey, Internet Society (ISOC) Asia-Pacific Bureau has launched a Regional Policy Survey 2015, to more deeply examine ongoing Internet policy making trends in the region.

The 2015 survey intends to gain further insights on the most important policy themes and areas of concern as identified by ISOC members in last year’s study.



As an Internet user in Asia-Pacific, your views are extremely valuable in drawing a holistic depiction of important policy related concerns and challenges in the region. The results of this study will serve as input to regional and local policy-making, both in the public and private spheres. It will also help to enable regional bodies, governments, private sector, and technical communities make informed decisions on Internet development in Pakistan.

This survey should only take about 15 minutes of your time. Your answers will be completely anonymous.

Participants who complete the survey will have an option of being entered into a draw for three (3) Samsung Galaxy 10.1” tablets. Please enter your email address when prompted if you wish to be included in the draw. Survey results will be published on the Internet Society website.

The survey is available at the following link and will close on 11 February 2015.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/apacpolicy2015

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Mobile Users to Pay Rs. 10 Per CNIC for SIM Re-Verifications


As it has turned out to be, mobile phone users will have to pay Rs. 10 per CNIC for re-verification of SIMs of each operator, we have checked with sources.

As you may know that SIM re-verification exercise is about to begin in a day or two at most and telecom operators are given 90 days for re-verification of 103 million SIMs.



While finalized SOPs from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority are scheduled to be issued today evening, we have confirmed with sources that end users will have to bear a verification fee of Rs. 10 per CNIC per transaction.

For example if a customer goes to Service Centre, Franchise or a retailer of one company and re-verifies his/her all SIMs for this particular company than he will have to pay Rs. 10 per this operator.

Similarly, if he goes to another operator for SIM re-verification, then he will have to give another Rs. 10 for re-verification of all SIMs of this second operator, and so on.

If a customer goes to Service Centre, Franchise or a retailer of one company and re-verifies his/her all SIMs for this particular company than he will have to pay Rs. 10 per this operator

Telecom operators say that this Rs. 10 per transaction is processing fee that will be given to retailers as an incentive. They say that there is no other way to keep retailers engaged with re-verification process as otherwise they might simply refuse to re-verify customers due to the hassle involved in the process.

Telcos clearly told ProPakistani that this processing fee of Rs. 10 per transaction will be kept by retailers and operators won’t share a penny from this fee.

Telecom companies are planing to give incentive to customers for re-verification of SIMs (in shape of free minutes, SMS) so this Rs. 10 per transaction fee is somehow justified.

Customers will clearly dislike the fee, considering that they will have to spare time and make effort by going out to service centres, franchises of each operator to get their SIMs re-verified and now this additional fee of Rs. 10 is surely going to put further burden on their shoulders.

Whatever the case is, the decision has been made and customers will have to pay Rs. 10 for each re-verification transaction, unless it is reversed by PTA at a later stage.

Dell Showcases the Next Level of IT Transformation at Dell Solutions Tour 2015



Dell today introduced its latest products and solutions at its annual Dell Solutions Tour 2015 in Lahore, Pakistan. The event brings together IT professionals and seeks to help them address key issues in the industry and master the varying landscape to drive IT transformation. This ultimately provides organizations the ’Power to do More’ by improving productivity and efficiency.

The Dell Solutions Tour 2015 hinges on the key theme “ Share ideas, discuss trends and discover IT solutions of tomorrow” which is built around the four primary pillars of “Transform”, “Connect”, “Inform”, and “Protect” (TCIP). These four pillars aim to address two common issues – streamlining IT budgets so that organizations spend on powering their businesses instead of their databases and second, providing solutions that help customers innovate vs. just keeping the lights on.



Dell’s end-to-end portfolio showcased at this event reflects those customer imperatives perfectly through integrating and optimizing Enterprise solutions, connecting End Users, simplifying and securing through Software and accelerating innovation with Services.

Mr. Shahzad Aslam Khan – General Manager, Dell South Asian Developing Markets said:

“Today’s fast paced world holds many challenges for new and existing businesses. Dell has always, and continues to be, at the forefront of creating solutions that cater to a varied array of business strategies. Our end-to-end portfolio, strategic alliances, and hardware expertise propel us to offer world class solutions, not only for large and small businesses but also consumers. By maintaining our focus on end customer demands especially in our developing markets we are continuously innovating with new high quality, low cost products such as our fantastic new All-in-One Desktop!”
Mr. Shahzad Khan also introduced new products, including Dell PowerEdge 13G and the Dell Inspiron 3043 All in One Desktop in his keynote address.

Inspiron 20 – 3043 All-in-one

Focusing on customer convenience and considering maximum use of workspace, Dell introduced The Inspiron 3043 All-In-One (AIO) Desktop. The world’s slimmest AIO has robust performance with stylish outlook and utmost convenience of usage. The Inspiron 3043 is equipped with Intel Quad Core processors and screen sizes up to 23” (optional touchscreen display is available).

Touch technology is an additive advantage for the users to navigate Windows and scroll or swipe through photo albums, games, and web pages very easily. This All-in-One PC also provides enhanced graphics support with integrated Intel HD Graphics  This also comes withaward-winning sound with a great sounding subwoofer built in for a more powerful and robust audio experience.

Next generation PowerEdge server portfolio

Dell PowerEdge FX: Converged Architecture Bridges Gap from Traditional to New IT

Today’s data center is evolving and businesses are facing pressures to support existing application requirements while using IT in new and exciting ways – all within financial constraints. Typically, customers must choose between a variety of system architectures, including best-of-breed hardware and current converged infrastructure, as the base of their data center operations. The next-generation Dell PowerEdge FX architecture is Dell’s revolutionary approach to converged infrastructure with one common modular and scalable platform with servers, storage and networking integrated to help customers better manage, scale and budget for infrastructure to meet business needs.

“In the past, as our VDI environment grew, my team was forced to make a forklift upgrade of our shared storage systems to keep up with demand,” said Kyle Stewart, Technology Manager, Overlake Hospital. “With the Dell PowerEdge FX converged architecture, we now have a platform that scales linearly and significantly reduces the impact of an outage.”
The next-generation PowerEdge FX architecture is a 2U enclosure with six new PowerEdge server, storage and network IOA sleds built specifically to fit into the FX2 chassis and support varying workloads. Designed with integrated management capabilities, the FX architecture enables customers to easily configure, manage and add capacity to complete workload-specific blocks of IT resources.

This converged infrastructure approach affords efficiencies of shared power, I/O and management, integrated switching, and unsurpassed overall density capabilities at up to 40 2-socket servers in 10U . Building on Dell’s recent PowerEdge 13th generation server portfolio announcement, the next-generation PowerEdge FX2 also includes advanced systems management capabilities to reduce operational complexity and simplify data center management.

Dell Redefines the Economics of Enterprise Storage, Unveiling New Mid-Tier Storage Arrays

Dell  announced it is seizing a new market opportunity with the unveiling of a brand new series of full-featured, enterprise storage arrays designed for mid-sized fibre channel and iSCSI deployments. The new Dell Storage SC4000 Series arrays demonstrate Dell’s continued innovation to bring full-featured, enterprise-class storage to cost-efficient, high-performing, smaller-scale solutions.

The new storage array series, with an all-flash solution that can cost up to 76 percent less than competing pure flash arrays, is the latest addition to Dell’s customer-driven enterprise data center portfolio of purpose-built solutions designed to make IT more efficient and practical.

Project Ara Hits Phase 2, Will Launch in Limited Markets This Year


More than a year ago we first heard about the Project Ara, the modular phone concept which allowed you to customize and built your own phone. Now that concept has hit the phase 2, or rather Spiral 2. What’s even better is that it’ll hit markets later this year. We only know of one right now, Puerto Rico but the phone which will reach there will be Spiral 3.

The basic specifications of the model are as follows: A 720p display, Dual applications processors, 5 megapixel camera, MicroUSB, Bluetooth, 3G, Wi-Fi, Battery and Speaker. Of course, all of these will be replaceable, should you damage them or simply want more oomph. There are 11 modules available right now, with 17 more to hit later this year.



As time goes on, the technology is also shifting in the right direction. Connectivity, which started with Wi-Fi only is now set to reach 4G LTE now. Apart from the latest and greatest in connectivity, Spiral 3 will also come with a bigger battery.

Google will distribute the skeleton and the modules both online and through carriers. Small trucks and kiosks will also help reach out to more people. More than 50 developers are already onboard, with Nvidia, Marvell and Rockchip working on chips.

>We still don’t know the cost yet, but the chassis as we know it should cost around $50.

Excited? So are we. Just to give you an idea, here’s a one-minute video posted by Google Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP).

New Android Bug Potentially Risks a Billion Phones and Tablets



A serious new bug has put almost a billion Android devices, or almost 60% of all Android-running phones and tablets under threat. If your phone or tablet runs on version before 4.4 KitKat, you could be in trouble too.

The bug was found by Joe Vennix, an engineer at Rapid7 and Rafay Baloch, an independent researcher. It lies in the WebView component of the older OS versions, allowing apps to view what content you’re surfing, without launching a separate app, of course. This is a huge security compromise, through which your info can be accessed by any entity anywhere.



This isn’t the first time that Android browser has come under scrutiny; last year we saw some major flaws being uncovered. The later versions of Android aren’t affected by it since they run Blink rather than WebKit for WebView, which used to be a part of the Android Open Source Program (AOSP). However, though the browser has been replaced by Chrome in the newer versions, it comprises for almost half of all traffic.

Unsurprisingly, when Google were notified of the flaw, it was hesitant to take any action at all, instead preferring to notify its partners to offer some remedy. Here’s what it had to say:

If the affected version [of WebView] is before 4.4, we generally do not develop the patches ourselves, but welcome patches with the report for consideration. Other than notifying OEMs, we will not be able to take action on any report that is affecting versions before 4.4 that are not accompanied with a patch.
We consider the matter closed, then.

Ironically, this news came after Google had publicly derided Microsoft for a flaw in Windows 8.1. Though, Microsoft is most likely expected to fix that issue soon, Mountain View cannot be expected in the least to do the same.

As for the users, the least they can do is stop using apps that they don’t trust. That would count out a few major names surely. While OEMs can’t possibly update all the devices, Google has now pushed more functionality in services such as Google Play Services and Play Store. In version 5.0 Lollipop, the same goes for WebView too. Where possible, though, you should not refrain from updating the OS any further.

Verification of Remaining MSISDNs of Respective Operator



Upon successful BVS Verification of primary MSISDN, the operator shall send a list of all other numbers (MSISDNs) of that operator that are registered in the system against the same CNIC through a SMS, to the primary number, from a designated short code 789, after twenty four (24) hours and within seven (7) days of his/her biometric re-verification.
The subscriber shall have to respond back to that SMS within forty eight (48) hours by sending those MSISDNs (numbers) which he/she agrees to own (considered as Re-verified) and deleting the numbers which he/she disowns (Not verified). Log/content of the SMS shall be permanently maintained by the respective operator for cross-verification /evidence purposes.
All such MSISDNs (numbers) sent back through return SMS by the subscriber, shall be considered as “Biometric Re-verified” as well against the said CNIC number, provided they are already registered on that CNIC. Successful biometric re-verification messages, both in Urdu & English) will be sent to each of these numbers.
Those MSISDNs (numbers) which were not sent back through the return SMS will be considered as “Disowned” from that time and will be put through to the Disowned Numbers process.
In case, no response is received from the subscriber, a reminder SMS shall be sent to the primary number. In case, no response is received within 10 days, all other numbers except the primary number shall be considered disowned and treated as per Appendix-B.
All such numbers sent through the return SMS for which the CNIC number in the database doesn’t match will be considered as “Not verified” and no action shall be taken.
Following additional checks shall be incorporated in the system to ensure that the SMS reply is being sent by already verified subscribers:
Whether there was a 789 SMS sent to the Primary Verified number by the respective operator or otherwise. If not, then the response SMS should not be considered for the re-verification of remaining numbers.
If the response SMS is received from a number (MSISDN) which has not yet been primary re-verified through BVS; then the response SMS should not be considered for the re-verification of remaining numbers.
Operators shall update their database accordingly by placing same transaction ID i.e. of primary MSISDN against all subsequent verified MSISDNs for cross checking purpose.Complete trail of primary and remaining numbers verified in this manner shall be maintained by operators and the data shall be provided to PTA as and when required.
668 data at PMD shall also be updated accordingly by concerned operator within 24 hours.
Note:

Operators can also perform this process of re-verification of secondary numbers by displaying remaining MSISDNs against BVS verified CNIC in coded form (e.g. 03xx-xxxx234) and asking the subscriber for owning/disowning the same. However, this process shall only be allowed at Customer Service Center (CSCs) of operators.
Alternatively, when a subscriber approaches a sale channel for re-verification, operators may ask all the numbers from customer and feed these numbers to the system for performing verification through BVS in one go. Any other numbers registered on that CNIC and not informed by the subscriber shall be disowned. However, if this process is used, access of all numbers against un-verified CNICs shall be blocked for franchisees for entire 91 days of the re-verification exercise.
Operators may also carry-out the re-verification of all numbers through the process give at Para 7(a) i.e. each number being verified separately through a separate BVS transaction. Numbers registered on CNIC of a subscriber shall not be displayed at Franchisee and Retailers at any cost.
Irrespective of the mechanism used, operators shall make sure through system checks that the facility is not misused by the sale channels by owning/disowning numbers without the knowledge/consent of the subscriber and only those numbers are verified which are held against customer’s CNIC only.
Change in Ownership for those Numbers that are not Registered with Your CNIC

If primary number is not registered with CNIC of the owner, then no biometric verification process will take place and customer will be asked to proceed with change of ownership process, which is as following:

Once the illegal user/owner of the SIM approaches the CSC/Franchise/Retailer, the SIM shall be regularized through one extra verification (other than biometric registration SIM with respective CNIC) to ascertain that he/she is the actual user of that particular SIM.

Change of owner process will only be authorized to Service Centres of operators and they can ask the customer about frequently dialled numbers, recharge history, last recharge date, FNF numbers, etc to confirm that user is indeed the owner of the SIM.

Operators shall ensure that extra verification is carried out and evidence is available to prove the same, in case of any compliant/requirement. The process of change of ownership shall be completed with immediate effect.

Note:

In order to avoid fraudulent COO, it shall be ensured that that SIM is physically present with the user through any verification mechanism such as a pin code sent to the user and entering the same before change of ownership, etc.
In case, retailer is authorized for COO, CMO shall ensure that SIM is physically present with the user and extra verification is carried out through an SMS dialog with the system or any other mechanism such as a pin code, etc.
Evidence should be available to prove that extra verification was carried out by the retailer, in case of any complaint/requirement.
General Agreed Principles

No new SIM sales shall be made through Retailers and Temporary Outlets during 91 days of exercise so that efforts can be concentrated on re-verification process only. Furthermore, promotions of new sales at other channels shall be minimized.
CMOs shall not offer any commission or incentive to sale channels for re-verification.
A uniform Re-Verification Fee of Rs.10/- per CNIC shall be charged from the subscriber in order to discourage misuse of the system/process.
CMOs shall make sure that New Sale, SIM Change, Change of Ownership and MNP is not allowed to a subscriber till any of his/her existing SIM, on a particular operator, is un-verified through BVS.
Clear/strict warnings, through formal communication, shall be sent by all CMOs to their all Sale Channels asking them to adhere by the laid down procedures else strict legal action shall be taken against violators/abusers of the process. The task is to be carried out before start of the re-verification process/
CMOs shall be allowed to carry-out kiosk/door to door activities, for re-verification only, in order to facilitate corporate customers/offices/universities, etc. However, CMOs shall ensure engagement of their own or franchisee staff for the task. Appropriate identification documents (cards in case of own employees and authorization letters/agreements with CMO, in case of franchisees, shall be made available) for cross checking purposes. Such facilities shall not be used for sale of new SIMs except in case of special circumstances after obtaining PTA’s permission.
All SIMs that are not re-verified during their respective phase i.e. 45 days for phase 1 and 46 days for phase 2, shall be blocked after expiry of their respective deadlines. However, only those SIMs that are registered on a CNIC having only one SIM per CNIC per CMO and in-use for at-least last two years may spill over. The spill over blocking period shall be intimated later.
CMOs shall restrict access to all numbers against un-verified CNICs for franchisees for entire 91 days of the re-verification exercise.
NADRA in collaboration of CMOs shall evolve an alternate process of re-verification in order to facilitate subscribers which cannot be verified through BVS due to any genuine reason i.e. physical disability, disease or old age.

PTA Issues Official SOPs for SIM-Reverification


While we had presented you FAQs for re-verification of SIM already, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority today issued its official Standard Operating Procedures for SIM-Reverification, which are supposed to be followed by all telcos to make sure that all SIMs are verified before April 13th, 2015.

Deadline for Blocking SIMs

First Phase:



Starting Immediately till 26th February 2015
Numbers to be re-verified: 3 or more SIMs per CNIC per operator
Blocking Deadline: All un-verified number from this list will be blocked on Feb 27th, 2015
Second Phase:

Starting from 27th February 2015 till April 13, 2015
Numbers to be re-verified: 1 and 2 SIMs per CNIC per operator
Blocking Deadline: All un-verified number from this list will be blocked on April 14th, 2015
Verification of SIMs

According to official SOPs from PTA, a copy of which is available with ProPakistani, following will be the flow of SIM-revivification.

Please note that MSISDN in below text is also known as SIM Number. CMO is abbreviation for Cellular Mobile Operator

Verification of Primary number:

First number of an operator that you verified through BVS will be called as primary number of this particular operator. Meaning that, if you have three SIMs of an operator, then you will verify your primary number with BVS and it will be tagged as primary number. Keep reading to know what will happen with other two numbers:

Customer shall visit the retailer/franchisee/CSC of respective operator, and shall provide his/her CNIC number along with the MSISDN to be used as primary number for re-verification through BVS.
The sale channel shall send CNIC number, MSISDN and related biometric credentials to the system of respective operator using the “Re-Verification” interface.
The system shall verify the ownership of the MSISDN against the particular CNIC and verification status whether the primary number is already verified or otherwise.In case the primary number is not verified through BVS, only then the system shall send the biometrics (thumb/finger impression) of the subscriber to NADRA for verification.However, if the CNIC entered doesn’t match the MSISDN related CNIC number in the system; the process will stop there and subscriber shall be asked to provide correct number or proceed for Change of Ownership.
Upon successful BVS verification from NADRA, system shall mark this MSISDN and CNIC combination as “Biometric Re-verified”.
Message shall be sent to the said MSISDN (primary number), both in English & Urdu, indicating that this number has been “Biometric Re-verified”.
However, if NADRA response is not successful, then the process will not be executed further and a SMS will be sent to the primary number advising to contact the nearest NADRA center.

Smartphones Now 66% of Global Mobile Shipments; Xiaomi Fourth-Largest Manufacturer



In an increasingly upward trend, smartphones now account for 66% of global mobile phone shipments, and are on track to show total sales of 1.2 billion units in 2014. According to figures published by research firm Gartner, there were a total of 301 million smartphones shipped in Q3 2014 with the two top leading manufacturers, Samsung and Apple, accounting for 37% of total shipments combined. Overall mobile phone shipments were 456 million in the quarter.

Apple has increased its market share to 12.7% while Samsung remains on top despite a 8% drop in yearly market share.

There were some interesting trends that stood out in Gartner’s report. Apple increased its market share to 12.7%, with 38 million devices, on the back of strong demand for the iPhone 6. Huawei also saw a slight gain to consolidate third spot with 16 million devices or 5.3% of the total pie. Samsung’s position at the top of global smartphone shipments remains strong with 73 million smartphones sold in Q3 2014, giving it a 24.4% market share. However, the figure is down almost 8 percentage points since last year.



The surprise entrant into the top 5 was Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi which posted a 4% growth rate on a year-on-year basis. Coming in just slightly behind Huawei, Xiaomi posted net shipments of almost 16 million devices, with a market share of 5.2%. In a highly competitive smartphone ecosphere this is encouraging news for the company, and gives credence to the view that their poaching of top Google executive, Hugo Barra, is paying off. Xiaomi is now the top supplier of smartphones in China.

With 16 million devices sold, Xiaomi is now the top smartphone vendor in China

Gartner points to a change in strategy for Xiaomi which has also contributed in making its smartphones so wildly popular. As sales in mature markets weaken due to saturation, major manufacturers have been slow to target emerging markets as the next bastion of growth. Xiaomi, however, has taken advantage of their slow movement and aggressively marketed phones in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. With total sales in these regions recording a growth of 50% on a yearly basis, it is clear that this strategy is working.

Future predictions from Gartner are that Apple will increase its sales momentum by recording its “biggest ever” fourth-quarter sales on the back of two new models of the iPhone. However, Chinese manufacturers will also be making ‘key moves’ with low-cost LTE phones an attractive option in emerging markets

Is Google Glass Dead?


Google has announced that sales of Google Glass eye wear have been halted indefinitely and that its present form will be redesigned. While the company insists that it is still committed to launching the wearable technology as a mass consumer product, the focus will now shift to “future versions of Glass”, with an entirely new division handling the project as compared to before.

This is undoubtedly quite a shocking announcement, but it never actually seemed as if the Google Glass project would become mainstream reality. Despite massive interest and hype in the product, with developers eager to launch apps designed for use on it and appearance in several high-profile events, the Glass never lived up to its full potential.



Google Glass never really looked like a mainstream product with a $1500 price tag

Google gave software developers the chance to buy Glass under the “Explorer” program back in 2013, hoping that it would help kickstart a number of supporting apps and devices. It was also expected that a full-scale consumer launch would follow soon. Neither of these materialized.

The Glass’s unreasonable price ($1500) was constantly berated for putting it out of the reach of most consumers. Google did periodically make some items available for sale to the general public, which were almost always sold out, but a lack of supporting apps and a number of PR disasters meant that its hype had begun to fizzle out.

A number of security concerns also contributed to a general distrust of the product

While early users of Glass were extremely enthusiastic about the product, as it allowed them to get information in a small screen above their eyes as well as the ability to take photos and videos, its lack of evolution meant that new innovations were few and far between.

The Google Glass team will now move out of the secretive “X” division and become a completely separate undertaking. Reporting will be to Tony Fadell, chief executive of Google Nest, its home automation business. Hopefully this can provide an impetus for Glass to rediscover itself as it undoubtedly remains one of the coolest wearable technology products conceptualized so far.

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