Uganda: Sim Cards Registration to end by March 2013

You will not be able to use your sim card to make or receive any phone calls as well as text messages if your card is not registered by 2013. Uganda Communications Commission passed the order on Monday in a statement issued to Daily Monitor in which they announced a sim card registration exercise for all nationals set to begin March 1, next year. The exercise seeks to check the use of mobile phone numbers for illegal activities, phone theft, unsolicited/hate and threat messages among others.
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“Failure to register is breach of the law and the service provider shall not provide any communication service to whoever fails or refuses to register,” UCC Manager communications Fred Otunnu told The Daily Monitor in a phone interview. He said that all unregistered sim cards will be deactivated by the start of 2013; a year after the registration process is complete.

In a statement to Daily monitor on Monday, UCC said the exercise will be carried out alongside the communication service providers who will establish registration centres to assist customers in accomplishing the registration process.

Requirements for registration will be personal identification that shall be provided through a valid passport or employee ID, student ID, voter’s card, valid driver’s license, local council letter or letter from employee. This too applies to foreigners leaving in the country. Mobile phone users will be expected to register all their sim cards regardless of how many an individual owns.

Welcome move

Communication companies have welcomed the move although they have been disappointed by the delay in the implementation of this law. Utl boss Donald Nyakairu said in a phone interview yesterday that firm was ready to take on the task so as to deal with the many cases of misuse of telecommunication services. “We will be part of this exercise and since it is just one year of implementation, we surely believe it will hardly affect our customers if all is being done for better service provision.”

Mr Joseph Kanyamunyu, Airtel Uganda public relations officer said the rapid growth in the telecommunication sector had seen fraudsters take advantage of the cut-throat competition to fleece clients, a vice that the new regulation will help to curb. He added the the exercise will ease investigations into crimes that are committed through the use of mobile phones.


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