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
Vodafone Ghana provides ‘live-chat’ platform for customersVodafone Ghana says it has launched an online ‘Live Chat’ and ‘Support Centre’ to enhance its range of customer care channels that offer timely and convenient response to customers’ queries. Read More
Juwah’s tenure at NCC endsDr. Eugene Juwah’s tenure as the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communication Commission has come to an end. Read More
Etisalat sues MTN over anti-competitive practicesEtisalat has instituted legal action against Nigeria’s dominant operator, MTN, over practices it says threaten its business. Read More
Orange increases interest in the Moroccan operator Méditel with the acquisition of an additional 9%Fipar-Holding (the Moroccan Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion group), FinanceCom and Orange signed the final documentation increasing Orange's interest in Méditel, the Moroccan telecommunications operator, in application of the agreements they signed in December 2010. Read More
Safaricom gives network assurance ahead of Obama visitSafaricom has assured its subscribers that minimal network disruptions shall be experienced during visit of US president Barack Obama. Read More
Airtel unveils next gen enterprise solution in GhanaAirtel Ghana says it is setting the new standard for Enterprise business solutions with the launch of its business oriented sub brand, Airtel Business. Read More
Tigo Africa Customer Operations Director visits GhanaThe Customer Operations Director for Tigo Africa, Ingeborg Nieuwenhuis, has just concluded a week-long visit to Ghana. Read More
Tigo reinforces security at cell sites due to battery theftTigo says it is determined to invest to ensure a reliable and stable network for its customers despite rampant cable cuts and increasing battery theft. Read More
MTN Ghana introduces Relationship ManagersSubscribers of MTN Ghana can now get any challenges resolved quickly and amicably, thanks to the introduction of Relationship Managers at MTN Ghana’s 82 customer service points across the country. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customers
As confidence in mainstream banks remains low due to prohibitive interest rates, customers are embracing Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) as an alternative.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.