ZICTA starts SIM registration
TELECOMSBy BiztechAfrica - Aug. 17, 2012, 9:11 a.m.
By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia
The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has embarked on a SIM card registration exercise aimed at enhancing security in the telecommunication sector.
ZICTA Public Relations officer Chisha Malunda said the exercise protect SIM card users from hackers and will make it easy for mobile service providers to easily track the SIM card if stolen or lost.
“Apart from providing security, ZICTA said the exercise will help improve the information communication technology (ICT) sector in the country,” Malunda said.
ZICTA, the country’s telecom sector regulator Malunda said is currently working with all the three mobile service providers-MTN Zambia, Airtel Zambia and Zamtel in implementing the exercise.
ZICTA announced in October last year that it will start SIM card and mobile phone registration within the next 12 months.
ZICTA wants the phone serial numbers and the SIM card registered in a bid to curb crime and phone theft. SIM card registration requires customers to produce identification documents and personal details before joining the network.
The phones that will not be registered will have to be blocked said ZICTA consumer affairs manager Katwamba Mwansa last year.
Zambia, like many other countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is experiencing phenomenal growth in the use of mobile phones but many phones are being stolen everyday and criminals are using the phones to commit crimes while other phones are sold to Zambia's neighbouring countries.
In addition to blocking SIM cards and phones for those who fail to register, the authority said the new Electronic Communications and Transactions gives powers to ZICTA to curb cyber crime such as Internet pornography, which carries a penalty of 10 years in prison.
However, SIM card registration is not without controversy. Subscribers claim registration will work against the principle of universal access and adds to the cost of SIM cards as vendors will have to invest more in data-capturing technology.
Other customers argue SIM card registration will give the authorities the ability to monitor their citizenry where ever they may be, examining conversations, text messages and Internet activities.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
MTN Cameroon drops tariffs once moreMTN Cameroon has announced its Best tariff plan, allowing subscribers to double their airtime after each refill and benefit from call bonuses towards all networks. Read More
Vodacom thrills students with cloud computingVodacom, in its “power to you” initiative, has extended its ICT field trip and tour opportunities to schools in communities where it operates. Read More
Liquid Telecom expands African satellite operationAs part of a multi-million dollar (US) investment in its satellite business, Liquid Telecom is the first operator to build a satellite hub at Teraco’s vendor-neutral earth station in South Africa. Read More
MACRA demystifies spectrum managementMalawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports. Read More
Orange Telkom Kenya donates KSh 2.19 million for drought efforts in Northern KenyaOrange Telkom Kenya has extended its support to the Laisamis Livelihood Improvement project into the second phase with a donation of KSh. 2.19 million to World Vision Kenya. Read More
NCC imposes N647m fine on telcosNigeria's NCC has imposed fines in the total sum of N647,500,000 million on three service providers, Airtel, Globacom and MTN Nigeria Ltd for failing to meet KPIs. Read More
Blu’s high speed WiFi is a hit for Accra MallThe Accra Mall is reaping the benefits of a high-speed WiFi installation by Blu Telecommunications, the 4G telecoms company. Read More
MTN: The journey must continueThe telecoms industry has spent the last 4 years on a journey towards cost-orientation, regulatory best practice and parity, and this journey must continue, says MTN. Read More
Nigerian 2.3 GHz auction winner namedBitflux Communications Limited has won Nigeria’s 2.3 GHz spectrum band licence auction, beating mobile operator Globacom. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.