UCC: Unverified sim cards to be disconnected next week

report says, MTN and Airtel have uniform cross network transfer rates with effect from April 2022

The report says MTN and Airtel have uniform cross network transfer rates with effect from April 2022 (PHOTO/Courtesy).

KAMPALA — The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has said that the ongoing switching off of SIM cards of some telecom subscribers is only for those whose registration doesn’t comply with the regulation of interception of communication regulation 2023.

This response comes after a public outcry following the ongoing cutting off of network, and telecom companies asking their customers to visit the service centres and have their registration status re-verified before November 12.

Mr Abudu Sallam Waiswa, the head of legal and compliance at UCC said that the ongoing exercise in all telecom companies is only to the customers whose SIM cards where registered but do not comply with the requirements since they did not appear before service operator to have their particulars captured.

He said that the affected population is less than one per cent urging the affected people to go and have their SIM cards re-verified to avoid deactivation.

“This process has been ongoing from 2014-2015, and in 2018 we improved it further, but now we are just trying to pick those few numbers that could have remained incomplete or not properly registered in the last few years, so we don’t expect many numbers,” Mr Waiswa said.

He noted that although the deadline has not yet reached, the inconvenience that has been happening to customers is intentional to push them to for re-verification.

“What has been happening is not what will happen after November 12. What will happen is that whoever that will not have regularised the operation, the number will be deactivated until they appear physically with a National Identity Card (ID) to the respective service centres,” he said.

Mr Denis Kakonge, the legal and regulatory director at Airtel Uganda explained that the affected customers are only those that have never appeared before service operators to have their details captured but rather sent their National Identification Numbers (NIN) via SMS.

“In 2018 we went into a process where some customers were asked to send their National ID number, subsequently, all the registration for SIM cards use National ID and a thumb print, but before that people had sent their NIN via SMS to the operators. That means that those customers did not appear to do their initial registration, he said.

“The regulations of 2023, require any of those customers to do a verification by appearing at the service centres with their National IDs, have their picture and thumb print taken and have your verification done,” he added.

He noted that only customers who have received messages or calls from telecom companies should visit their centres and have their details taken to avoid deactivation of their SIM cards before the deadline.

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