MNOs block SIM cards… in compliance with Communication Ministry Directive

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country have commenced the blocking of partially registered SIM Cards from accessing data services, the National Communications Authority (NCA) has revealed.

According to Mr Kwame Gyan, Deputy Director, Consumer and Corporate Affairs Division of the NCA, the MNOs were undertaking the exercise in batches.

The move followed a directive by the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation to all MNOs to block SIM cards, also known as a Subscriber Identity Module which was yet to be fully registered by November 20 from accessing data services.

Speaking in an interview with Ghanaian Times yesterday, he said, although he did not have the data on the number of SIM Cards blocked since the expiration of the deadline readily available, the NCA was aware that the directive was being complied with.

He stated that, due to technical nature of the exercise, the MNOs would not be able to simultaneously block all the defaulting SIM Cards.

Mr Gyan, however pleaded with owners of defaulting SIM Cards to complete the registration process to avoid the sanctions.

He explained that a completion of the SIM Card registration process would support efforts in building a robust SIM database for the country.

“We expect the MNOs to block all partially registered SIM Cards from accessing data services as per the directive.

The Ministry and NCA has no joy in seeing SIM Cards blocked so we encourage all defaulting users to complete the process now,” he added.

The Ghanaian Times observed yesterday, that mobile phone users, in Accra were undergoing the registration process at the various offices of the MNOs.

Although not overcrowded, MTN offices at the Ring Road, Spintex Road and Osu Oxford Street were busy with customers going through the registration process.

Earlier this month, the Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, noted that all blocked SIM cards would be completely deactivated on November 30.

In a statement, she said, measures to accommodate those who genuinely do not have Ghana cards, would be announced when ongoing consultations have been completed.

Currently, she noted that, 30,011,082 have completed the first stage which involved the linking of Ghana Card to SIM Number.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful also indicated that 20,892,970 subscribers had completed the SIM card registration which involved the linkage and biometric processes.

She explained that the SIM registration was part of measures being taken to ensure a secure and safe digital ecosystem to protect consumers and businesses.

“The SIM Registration exercise will solve a lot of issues in the industry. We can all attest to the fact that there has been a noticeable decline in SIM-related fraud since the commencement of the registration exercise,” she added.

It advised all citizens and residents to check the number of SIMs registered to their Ghana Card to ensure that they retain the mandated number of SIM cards which was 10 adding that, any additional SIM registered above the mandated number would be deactivated.


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