Uganda: Unverified Simcards to Be Blocked


Kampala — Mobile phone subscribers have until Wednesday, May 1, to verify their Simcards or risk being disconnected.

In a noticed issued by MTN at the weekend, the telecom said subscribers have until May 1 to verify their Simcards.

“Please note that all numbers registered under your NIN will be disconnected if you don’t verify them, by Wednesday May 1,” the notice reads in part.

Subscribers will be required to verify numbers registered under their national identification numbers (NIN).

Uganda Communications Commission said at the weekend that the requirement resulted from a March 19 meeting where audit findings revealed non-compliance with Simcard registration guidelines.

“A follow up meeting was again held on April 2 to conclude on how to handle the different categories of data that needs updating,” UCC noted, adding that telecom operators and the regulator had agreed to immediately update and align Simcard registration information.

The move seeks to improve information integrity and provide a secure communications eco-system.

UCC at the weekend highlighted eight cases that need to be rectified through the verification exercise.

Among them are subscribers with unknown numbers registered against their NINs and Simcards registered with both names and NIN of a known person but not the Simcard holder.

Others are Simcards registered with a subscribers name but NIN is of another known person and Simcards registered with a subscriber name but NIN is of a known but unavailable person. Mr Fred Otunnu, the UCC director for corporate affairs, stressed at the weekend that the exercise was to verify and not to register subscribers.

Asked about the May 1 deadline, he said the time was sufficient since it is not a verification exercise.

“The deadline is reasonable, let us first get there and see,” he said.

Telecoms have been experiencing a drop in subscriber numbers every time they have had to conduct adjustments on Simcard registration.

In 2017, mobile phone subscribers dropped by 57,000 from 23,665,556 in the second quarter to 23,608,610 in the third quarter.

Currently, phone subscribers are 23.2m with MTN and Airtel sharing 90 per cent of the market share.

MTN refunds mobile money

Meanwhile MTN said at the weekend the teleocm had refunded all money that had been deducted from mobile money accounts of some agents and subscribers last month.

In a statement the telecom said agents who had lost money between April 21 and 23 had been refunded.

Mr Val Okecho, the MTN communications manager, said last month they had registered about eight cases following a public outcry.

“We would like to inform the general public that cases have been thoroughly investigated and where appropriate, all monies fully refunded,” a statement releases at the weekend reads.

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Publish date : 2019-04-29 09:31:09

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