Unregistered SIMs face deactivation

3 Jul 2013

Nigeria’s mobile operators have begun to disconnect unregistered mobile lines following the expiration of the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC’s) SIM registration deadline of 30 June. Local newspaper Daily Trust reports that the regulator decided against extending the two-year registration exercise, despite calls from the country’s wireless network operators to push back the deadline. Funso Aina, a public relations manager at MTN Nigeria told the newspaper that the company has already begun to disconnect lines that were not registered by the end of June, but added that MTN could not confirm exact numbers for now.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the SIM registration process began on 28 March 2011, with subscribers initially given six months – until 28 September 2011 – to register their details with their service provider. At that date, the NCC said it had begun the harmonisation of registered SIM cards, which involved the collation, reconciliation, cleaning and consolidation of the captured data into a central data system. It also revealed that it had extended the registration deadline for a ‘limited period’ to allow any remaining subscribers to register their details. ‘This limited period provides the last chance for all users of existing SIM cards to register, as all unregistered SIM cards will be disconnected without further notice at the conclusion of the harmonisation period,’ the NCC said. Finally, in May 2013 the watchdog announced that the long-running campaign would be brought to an end on 30 June 2013, after which all unregistered lines would be cut off.