Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nigeria - The threat to bar unregistered SIM cards remains, despite widespread lack of registration

[vanguard] A source on the management team of a mobile telecommunication company operating in the country has informed Cyberlife that subscribers to its network's mobile services who have not yet had their Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards registered will soon be barred from the from using the services of it's mobile network.

The source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told this reporter that the mobile company intends to start baring lines of subscribers who have refused to go to its friendship centres and have their photographs and fingerprints taken, this is in line with the procedures adopted for the proper identification and registration of SIMs.

He said "the announcement had been made long enough and subscribers cannot claim they are ignorant of this. Their mobile lines will be unbarred only after they have had their SIMs registered!"

The SIM registration notification had first trickled into public knowledge late last year when the NCC earmarked this year as deadline for the registration of all active SIM cards being used in the country.

It had been reported that a mobile operator had sent out text messages to its subscribers reminding them of the mandate of the NCC and that subscriber's finger prints and pictures will be henceforth be captured whenever they purchase Visaphone lines. The report stated that there are "currently over 78.5 million active phone lines in the country -- over 90 percent of these are mobile lines and over 90 percent of these are not properly registered."

In a trip round town however, Cyberlife has discovered that not much is being done to further help this situation of registering the cards as countless numbers of SIMs are still sold everyday to customers by roadside wholesale and retail SIM card dealers

Nigeria: 'Unregistered SIMs to Be Barred'

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