NCC issues yellow card over SIMs
TELECOMS| May 1, 2012, 4:49 p.m.
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
The regulator of Nigeria’s telecom sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has warned mobile phone service providers in the country to desist from further sale of pre-registered subscriber identification modules (SIM) cards to their customers.
According to a statement endorsed by Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs of the NCC, the commission’s attention has been drawn to the fraudulent practice by some vendors, warning that the commission will not hesitate to allow the full weight of the law to fall on those caught in the act.
“The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has been drawn to the continuous, illegal and unauthorized sale of pre-registered New SIM Cards to members of the public by some vendors.
“It is to be noted that the Commission had earlier on issued direction that effective February 14, 2011 all new SIM cards going into the distribution/sales channels be activated as receive only and such subscribers should also be enabled to make emergency calls to emergency numbers and operators call centers for a period of thirty (30) days, and failure to register such new SIM cards within this period will render the said SIMs inactive,” Ojobo said in the statement.
According to him: “Notice is hereby given to the general public that it is illegal to sell and/or purchase pre-registered new SIM cards and that any person buying or selling pre-registered new SIM cards shall be arrested, investigated and consequently prosecuted in accordance with the laid down laws.”
He also warned network providers that they have the duty to among others: closely monitor the activities of their registration centres and ensure that their SIM cards are not pre-registered for sales; warn all their respective registration centres to desist from registering new SIM cards presented in their packs sealed.
New SIM cards should only be registered either while inserted into mobile handsets by subscribers or fully detached from their packs.
Network Service Providers will be liable for breaches by their registration centres carrying out the registration of the new SIM cards for sales, since it is the Service Providers that activate these new SIM Cards.
The Commission will hold Service Providers culpable for the activities of their registration centres for all completely packed pre-registered SIM cards retrieved from vendors during any enforcement raids. The NCC warned Service Providers to direct their registration centres to stop registering SIM cards that are fully sealed in their packs for sales and for their respective vendors to remove all pre-registered SIM cards from circulation immediately.
On the consequences of disregarding this directive, he said the consequences for pre-registering, selling or purchase of such new SIM cards may include arrest, detention, investigation, investigation, sanction and prosecution in accordance with the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 and the Regulations for the registration of Telephone Subscribers 2011.
“The Commission considers it important to warn the general public and Network Service Providers that there shall be no proxy registration of New Network Service Providers or their appointed registration centres,” Ojobo warned.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
Tigo introduces unified short code for products and servicesTigo Ghana has announced the installation of a world-class IVR (Interactive Voice Response) that will give both its pre-paid and post-paid customers the opportunity to access all its product through a unified short code, 555. Read More
TNM to conduct biggest promotion pay-outTNM will on August 26 splash out over K100 million in its Ufulu@50 Promotion, the biggest payout in a single day in the history of promotions in Malawi. Read More
We don’t patronise fake OEMs, says GloGlobacom has said it does not patronise substandard original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and telecoms equipment vendors. Read More
Africell DRC waits ‘in vain’ for interconnectionAfricell, which began operations in the DRC in June 2012, has yet to enjoy interconnection. Read More
Telecom Namibia: WACS repairs to start this weekendRepair work on the West Africa Cable System (WACS) off Namibia’s coast is scheduled to start over the weekend, says Telecom Namibia. Read More
MTN Uganda marks 10m subscriber markHaving hit the 10 million subscriber base, MTN Uganda has announced that it is giving out 10 million minutes of free airtime and 100 million MB of data to its customers. Read More
Airtel Malawi launches thematic campaignAirtel Malawi has launched a new thematic campaign dubbed 'Muli Bwanji?' a local language greeting meaning 'How are you?' aimed at depicting the warmth and love that is synonymous with Malawians. Read More
Etisalat commissions flagship Experience Centre in AbujaEtisalat has commissioned a world class flagship Experience Centre in Abuja. Read More
Infrastructure, connectivity key to Africa’s smart citiesInfrastructure and connectivity are key to achieving the Smart City vision, say WSP and Ruckus Wireless. Read More
FEATURED STORYNigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’
WASPAN chief Simon Aderinlola says unless the regulator intervenes, WASPAN may not have anything left to regulate. Kokumo Goodie reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.