More Africa NewsNamibia: SIM card registration campaign slowed by “major challenges” (CRAN)

September 19, 2023by myles0

In Namibia, the SIM card registration campaign was launched on January 1, 2023 and is supposed to last 12 months. It was preceded by a national consumer awareness campaign which lasted six months. 

The campaign to register SIM cards for Namibian mobile phone subscribers is facing some “  major challenges  ” which are slowing down the process with just a few months to go. According to data released by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), only 795,991 SIM cards had been registered as of June 15, 2023. This represents a registration rate of 29%.

According to the regulator, challenges facing telecom operators include resistance from local authorities to allow the establishment of registration points; power outages in remote areas that interrupt the automated check-in process; lack of customer interest in SIM card registration; the provision of inaccurate information by customers; non-possession by subscribers of identity documents or proof of residence…

It was on January 1 that the Namibian authorities launched the SIM card registration campaign, which is planned to last 12 months. After this period, the regulator will deactivate unregistered SIM cards, preventing their owners from “  using communications services  ”. Furthermore, new subscribers are required to register their SIM cards at most three after purchase to avoid deactivation.

First announced in October 2021, this initiative is in line with the “Communications Act” published by the government in March of the same year. Ultimately, it will make it possible to combat cybercrime in Namibia and improve the effective regulation of the national technological landscape.

“  Operators will only need the information required by the regulations, namely the customer’s name, usual residential address and their Namibian identity card, passport or other official identity document issued by the government of ‘another country. Customers who voluntarily choose to provide their biometric data are invited to do so  ,” recalls CRAN.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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