ZICTA starts SIM registration
ZAMBIA| 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 ZAMBIA NEWS
Muvi TV doubles digital channel line-up on EUTELSAT 7B satelliteMuvi TV, Zambia´s leading commercial broadcaster, is poised for a new phase of expansion with expanded satellite capacity from Stellar, a leading German play-out centre and satellite uplink facility, that leases high-power capacity on the EUTELSAT 7B satellite Read More
Airtel Zambia CSR wins awardAirtel Zambia has scooped two Zambia Public Relations Association (ZAPRA) Awards. Read More
Online condolences flood in for SataZambians and non-Zambians have flooded social media sites with condolences over the death of the country’s president Michael Sata at the age of 77. Read More
Huawei supports Zambian family dayChinese ICT giant Huawei has pledged support for a family centre in Zambia. Read More
Zamtel, NEC in microwave transmission projectZamtel and NEC Corporation have agreed to build a new digital microwave radio transmission network to boost mobile coverage and capacity across Zambia. Read More
World Panel Zambia launches solar chargersWorld Panel Zambia Ltd has launched its durable World Panel solar panels, which charge mobile phones as fast as a wall plug does. Read More
CEC Liquid Telecom Zambia appoints new MDThe Liquid Telecom Group and Copperbelt Energy Corporation PLC have announced the appointment of Andrew Kapula as Managing Director of CEC Liquid Telecom in Zambia. Read More
Huawei equips Mulungushi University with ICTsHuawei Technologies Zambia has handed over 40 computers, desks and chairs to Mulungushi University in a move expected to enhance the learning opportunities for students at the institute. Read More
Zambia, IBM improve access to life-saving drugsIBM has announced a collaboration with the Zambian Ministry of Health to provide citizens with improved access to 200 life saving drugs. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
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 NEWSVMware Study: Businesses can Take Three Weeks to get Employees Mobile-Ready
EMEA businesses say concerns over trust, ownership and delivery capability may hold back taking advantage of the mobile cloud-era.