Sim holders who fail to register face service disconnection
The UAE’s two telecom service providers on Tuesday launched an 18-month mobile phone number registration process with the aim of restoring discipline to the market and those who fail to register risk losing service.
Etisalat, one of the largest telecom firms in the Middle East, and the newly-established Du have set up 350 centres to receive nearly 12.5 million mobile phone subscribers who need to update their personal data in the service.
The “my number” process has been ordered by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), which oversees the telecom services in the second largest Arab economy, with the aim of ending malpractices resulting from Sim swap, loss, misuse or being given by their owners to other persons.
“A study conducted by TRA has shown that many SIM holders give their cards to other persons, who abuse them. This is resulting in criminal and civilian offences,” said Mohammed Al Ghanim, TRA Director General.
“Using the SIM cards by persons other than their owners could bring real problems to their owners as those persons could be involved in offending or defaming others either through phone calls or texts. We want to put an end to such practices,” he told Alittihad.
The paper said the registration campaign would be in six stages and last 18 months, adding that 100 registration centres had been set up by Etisalat and 250 by Du through the UAE. It said both companies would send texts to their subscribers asking them to register before the end of the deadline.
“GSM subscribers who fail to report to those centres to update their data and register their SIM cards will have their service disconnected,” the paper said.
The UAE has one of the highest mobile phone penetration rates in the world, standing at around 155 per cent at the end of June.