The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has said it is in the final stages of its SIM registration programme, which will be closed out at the end of the month, the Daily Monitor reports. Godfrey Mutabazi, executive director of the regulator, was quoted as saying that the registration rate was above 80%, although exact figures are not yet available, adding: ‘We dispatched teams to various parts of the country to collect data on the exercise which we shall add up this week to get the real picture.’ Operators were given a 180-day extension to the deadline, including 90 days for subscribers to sign up and 90 more for the companies to verify the data. UCC was reluctant to push back the original 28 February deadline, although technical issues and the absence of official IDs in rural areas hindered progress and by the start of that month local press reported that as many as 9.6 million subscribers could face disconnection. The SIM registration drive aims to cut the use of mobile phones in crime and requires new and existing customers to provide proof of identity to sign up for or continue using services respectively. Customers that have not registered by the new deadline at the end of May will have their SIMs blocked by providers.