Third of Mobile Phones Cut Off in Niger

Telecoms

Around a third of the mobile phones in the African country of Niger have been cut off -- in a move aimed at cutting crime related to unregistered SIM cards.

The country's four mobile networks had around 5.4 million mobile accounts, but some 1.7 million of them were using unregistered SIM Cards.

Following a declaration last year that the user had to register their SIM Cards, all the unregistered cards were cut off at the weekend.

"From today, non-registered SIM cards can no longer be used," said Almoustapha Boubacar, director-general of the regulator on Tuesday.

The regulator has also banned the sale of pre-activated SIM cards, and will need ID documents to be produced before any SIM card can be switched-on.