simcards1650,000 unregistered mobile phone subscribers have had their SIM cards switched off. This was done in compliance with the Electronic and Postal Communications Act (EPOCA) of 2010 which requires all mobile phone numbers in the country to be registered .

Vodacom Tanzania switched off 450,000 numbers last week, and Airtel Tanzania did the same by switching off 200,000 lines which were not registered.

Vodacom Tanzania’s Managing Director Rene Meza said his company is committed to complying with EPOCA.

“The disconnection of the 450,000 subscribers is aimed at both aligning with the above law and ensuring that our customers’ records are up to date,” Meza said.

Registration of subscribers is beneficial for both customers and the company. This is the first step in getting to know who our customers are, where they are and what we need to do to serve them better. We would like to thank our customers for their support and patience as we went through the processes of registering and verifying their data over the last few weeks,” he added.

Airtel Communications and Regulatory Director, Beatrice Singano, said, “Our customers were informed to register their SIM cards. We have provided adequate time to have all SIM cards registered before disconnection.”

She said Airtel had already implemented the regulations as stated by EPOCA and barred all unregistered SIM cards.

“We urge all Airtel customers whose sims have been cut of communication to follow the regulations and register their sims to continue enjoying our services.

Under the EPOCA law, customers using unregistered cards are liable to a Tsh 500, 000 (about $300) fine or a three months in jail or both.

Source: Business Week