Register or lose your mobile service, southerners told

12 Oct 2005

Users of mobile phones in Thailand’s southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala will have their services disconnected in mid-November unless they register their handset with the authorities, according to Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasathidya. The government introduced the mandatory registering of pre-paid mobile SIM cards in May, with anybody buying a new SIM now having to present an ID card or passport so that they can be added to a national register of pre-paid users. It has since expanded the scheme to include contract customers and travellers using their phones in the provinces. The database was created following a spate of explosions caused by bombs triggered from mobile phones and is part of the government’s attempts to crack down on terror attacks in the insurgency-plagued south. ‘Starting November 15, no matter if you’re travelling from Bangkok or Malaysia, you must have registered your number in order to be able to use your mobile in the three provinces,’ Chidchai Vanasathidya told reporters on Tuesday.