Zambia ICT authority orders SIM card ultimatum
The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) has given local mobile phone subscribers a two-month ultimatum to correct wrong information on SIM cards or face permanent disconnection.
The telecom sector regulator has issued a statement urging the public to check their registration status with their respective mobile service providers.
ZICTA said it has teamed up with the country's three mobile phone operators MTN Zambia, Airtel Zambia and the Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) to 'clean up' registered SIM cards held by operators.
To date close to 1 million SIM cards are said to have been temporarily blocked by operators for not being properly registered.
ZICTA also said the clean-up is intended to address unclear photos, incorrect and incomplete information and other details on the IDs.
"Please be advised that all SIM cards deemed to have any of the problems highlighted will be permanently de-registered, if not corrected by February 29, 2016," said a statement from ZICTA.
MTN Zambia general manager for corporate services Mulenga Mwenzi told ITWeb Africa in an interview that hundreds of subscribers on the network are having their SIM cards deactivated every day for failing to comply with the SIM card registration law.
Mwenzi said the move is aimed at compelling subscribers to register their SIM cards because MTN Zambia, as a network, does not want to be at variance with the Zambian law.
She added that SIM registration is a standard practice by the MTN Group in all the countries where it operates. "Every day we have a number of SIM cards being disconnected from the network because they are not properly registered. Sometimes the problem is caused by our agents who are failing to do a good job and sometimes it is subscribers themselves giving incorrect and incomplete information."
Mwenzi refused to comment on the fine issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to MTN Nigeria for failing to deactivate SIM cards or MTN Zambia's stance on the matter.
Source: ITWeb Africa 4 January 2016