SA switches off SIMs

South African telecoms operators have cut off over a million unregistered SIM cards - possibly nearly three million - after the deadline for SIM registration.

The registration process ended at midnight last night, and connectivity to unregistered cards has been cut.

Up to 96% of SIM cards in the country are reported to have been registered during the process.

Major player Vodacom reports that just under a million SIMs on its network have been locked.

However, subscribers would be able to reactivate their SIMs if they registered soon, Vodacom said. Reconnecting them could take some time, however.

Portia Maurice, Vodacom's Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs, noted that those who had not registered and had been locked out were still liable to pay any contracts.

MTN expressed satisfaction with the number of its subscribers that have registered their phones.

By this morning, MTN was still collating and reconciling the number of customers who have been cut off, but initial indications are that the numbers are not significant.
Eddie Moyce, MTN South Africa  Customer Relationship Executive, said MTN appealed to any customers who had missed the deadline to register.

Another SA operator, Cell C, said close to 97% of its customer base had registered before yesterday’ s deadline.

Cell C CEO Lars P. Reichelt said customers would have a grace period of 120 days from the deadline date to reactivate their cut-off lines or face the possibility of losing their numbers.

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