MTN Customers register their SIM cards
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simcards1About 20% of subscribers have not yet registered their phone sim cards, information from telecoms indicates.

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) met telecom operators to discuss the post May 31, 2013 deadline process.

The UCC communications manager, Fred Otunnu, explained that after the deadline, the operators will engage in the validation process of subscriber data for the next three months.

The validation process and period will also enable registration of new Sims to continue as well as registration of existing sims to continue for the next three months.”After that we switch off, this will take place after three months but during this time it will be validation, it is more less a cleanup process,” said Otunnu.

There are about 17 million mobile phone users, which means about 13.7 million Sims are registered todate

“The grace period enabled us to reach our customers particularly those in the rural areas and other hard to reach areas. We still have close to 15% of our customers yet to register,” said Mazen Mroue, MTN chief.

The major glitch was the low public awareness about the SIM card registration which affected subscriber participation in the exercise. “Most subscribers do not have proper identification documents that meet the legal standards prescribed and as a result a large number of them cannot be registered,” said Mazen.

One of the challenge during this exercise that has been on for more than a year is instances where operators are charged exorbitant fees by the local and municipal authorities for setting up of registration centers in their areas which derailed the process.

On concerns that many subscribers registered but have not been verified till date, Mazen said the initial period of one year was focused on registering as many of the customers as possible as the company carried out a validation of the information although some back log existed.

Credit: New Vision