The compulsory registration of SIM cards in Mozambique must be funded by Mozambique’s two mobile operators, mCel and Vodacom Mozambique, regulatory body the Instituto Nacional das Comunicacoes (INCM) has declared. In a local media briefing, Francisco Chate, director of posts and telecommunications at the INCM insisted that its recently announced SIM card registration scheme must be free of charge to subscribers, with Chate warning the two cellcos that they must not pass on any associated costs to their respective subscribers.
Doubts have been raised over the logistics of Mozambique’s SIM card registration process, as both operators have few retail outlets and depend on itinerant vendors to sell SIM cards around the country. The INCM has already stipulated that vendors are prohibited from carrying out the registration process, which will reportedly require valid identification, signatures and fingerprinting. Neither mCel nor Vodacom have yet to advertise the imminent SIM registration online or in print. When questioned by reporters regarding the feasibility of registering 5.6 million SIM cards by 15 November, Chate admitted: ‘It is a very tight schedule.’