ZICTA starts SIM registration
TELECOMS| 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
Baudin leaves Orange BotswanaOrange Botswana CEO Phillippe Baudin has resigned from the company just one year into his three year contract. Read More
Econet steps up Ebola responseEconet Wireless has been working quietly behind the scenes with various government departments, including the Ministry of Health and Child Care, to prepare Zimbabwe for any possible outbreak of Ebola. Read More
Political uncertainty holds back North African telecomsSocial and political uncertainty is hampering investment in telecoms in North African countries such as Algeria, Libya and Egypt in spite of the evident opportunities, says Frost & Sullivan. Read More
AUC expands connectivity services with Emerging Markets CommunicationsEmerging Markets Communications (EMC) has announced that the African Union Commission (AUC) has expanded its connectivity services with the company in Africa and renewed its existing contract. Read More
Mixed growth in Kenyan telecomsThe latest industry data released by the Communications Authority of Kenya indicates growth in some areas and a decline in others. Read More
BlackBerry Passport unveiled in NigeriaBlackBerry Limited has launched the BlackBerry Passport, a new device built for productivity, in Nigeria. Read More
Etisalat’s subscriber figures top 20 millionEtisalat Nigeria has announced that its active subscribers figures have now reached 20 million, upp from 17 million in December last year. Read More
Over 2,000 entrepreneurs become Glo Xchange agentsNigerian carrier Globacom has signed up over 2,000 entrepreneurs as agents for its massive mobile money initiative. Read More
Econet: diversification pays offEconet Wireless Zimbabwe says its strategy to steer the business towards value added services is beginning to bear fruit, as its overlay services showed strong growth in the half year to August 2014. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSSchneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitie
Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year.SAP accelerates shift to the Cloud with 41% revenue growth in third quarter
SAP has once again raised its revenue outlook, reporting broad market adoption of SAP HANA and its ‘Run Simple’ strategy validated.