More Africa NewsCameroon: telecoms regulator puts pressure on operators who neglect subscriber identification

April 12, 2021by myles0

Cameroonian authorities, which are facing several security challenges, must be able to identify the chips used by terrorists. But some telephone operators remain lax as to the rules for identifying their subscribers.

The operations to identify telephone subscribers in Cameroon do not seem to be taking place within the standards. This is suggested by a letter that the Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ART) has just sent to operators operating in the country.

“  I have noticed that some operators do not use the regulatory unique number of national identity cards (CNI) as part of the procedure for identifying subscribers  ”, writes Philémon Zo’o Zame. And the DG of ART to specify that the unique identifier number is the 17-digit number on the back of the CNI, and not the nine-digit one which is rather the serial number of the CNI.

In telecoms circles, sources maintain that this call to order from the regulator could give rise to a new campaign to identify telephone subscribers, operators wishing to avoid the lightning of ART. In the first quarter of 2019, for example, the telecoms regulator in Cameroon suspended 73,000 unidentified phone numbers from operators MTN, Orange and Nexttel. 

According to the regulations in force in Cameroon, all telephone subscribers must provide a valid identity document to benefit from the services of the operators. This regulatory provision came in a context marked by attacks perpetrated by the terrorist sect Boko Haram, during which mobile phones were used to set off explosives. Moreover, with the security crisis in the North West and South West of the country, kidnappers are using Mobile Money to collect ransom money. Identifying phone chips is one way to follow in the footsteps of these evildoers. It is therefore full of a security issue.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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