Locally-made SIMs: A blessing for mobile operators, customers

Hitlar A Halim
Published : 07:45, Sep 08, 2018 | Updated : 07:45, Sep 08, 2018

A few local companies are making SIMs but they are doing well.Local tech companies have been manufacturing mobile SIM cards, which has become a blessing for both mobile operators as well as their customers.
With these locally-made SIMs, the operators have been able to make the SIM available for their subscribers with low cost, which sometimes even become free, industry insiders said.
Previously, mobile phone operators imported SIM cards that decreased significantly as they have been using locally-manufactured SIM cards for quite some time, they said.
A subscriber identification module, known as a SIM card, is an integrated circuit that securely stores the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) number and its related key, which are used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephony devices (such as mobile phones and computers) and sometimes stores contact information.
At the beginning, companies brought foreign experts to manufacture SIMs. Those experts then trained the local developers which usually took more than two years. Now, these trained developers are behind the manufacture of SIM cards.
Bumblebee Technologies Bangladesh Limited, Silkway Card & Printing Limited, iCity, Eastcompeace Smart Card (Bangladesh) Limited are the few companies to produce SIM cards in Bangladesh.
However, few details are available on their operation.
An official at a SIM manufacturing company said, “Although a few companies are making SIMs but they are doing well.”
“These companies avoid making any information open in a bid to keep the business competition low,” said the official, who preferred to go unnamed.
According to this official, at present, price of a SIM has decreased to Tk 15 from that of Tk 68 in several years ago.
Officials at mobile operators appreciate the quality of locally-manufactured SIM.
Syed Talat Hossain, who is the head of external communications at leading mobile operator Grameenphone, said his company buys locally-made SIMs.
“The quality of locally-produced SIMs is better. So far we haven’t received any complain on the matter,” said Hossain.
Another operator Banglalink also buys SIMs from local companies, which decreases its cost on import duty.
“As a result, the operators can provide SIM to their subscribers with less cost,” said Taymur Rahman, who is the head of regulatory and corporate affairs at Banglalink.
“Why should we import SIMs, if good quality SIMs are available in local markets,” asked Rahman.