Mobile network operator Vodacom Tanzania will today disconnect 450,000 unregistered SIM cards from its network, its managing director Rene Meza has said. In an interview in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Mr Meza confirmed that Vodacom’s local unit is committed to complying with the country’s Electronic and Postal Communications Act (EPOCA) of 2010, which requires all mobile phone numbers in the country to be registered. As such, the decision to switch off 450,000 unregistered subscribers is aimed at ‘both aligning with the above law and ensuring that our customers’ records are up to date,’ Meza said.
In a related development, the Vodacom official says that his company has implemented SIM locking of all its cards, effective June 1 2013. He notes that the activation of SIM cards can only be done after receipt of suitable registration documents from prospective customers. SIM locking is being carried out under the remit of new rules laid down by the national regulator, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA). The watchdog gave the country’s mobile network operators a timeframe of 1 June 2013 to 10 July 2013 to effect both SIM registration of existing SIMs and the locking of new cards in the country.