'Final deadline' passes for unregistered SIM users

19 Dec 2017

The chairman of the Angolan Institute of Communications (INACOM), Leonel Augusto, confirmed a date of 15 December 2017 as the final deadline for unregistered mobile SIM card owners to reactivate their services, Jornal de Angola reported. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that according to official figures from INACOM, Angola’s total mobile subscribers fell from 14.05 million at end-2014 to 13.00 million at end-December 2016 – the previous cut-off date for SIM registration – and the regulator indicated in a subsequent report that there was no net positive growth in the market in the first half of 2017, whilst unregistered SIMs had access to mobile services suspended. According to Augusto, 1.23 million phone numbers have been suspended, with around 500,000 being deactivated (prior to the latest deadline announcement), whilst the regulator has indicated that the current total of active mobile accounts could be as low as 11.4 million – pushing the national cellular penetration rate down to as low as 42% – although an official updated figure has not yet been announced. Angola’s two mobile operators Unitel and Movicel are set to face new competition in 2018 from state-backed Angola Telecom’s upcoming mobile venture as well as a fourth, foreign-backed licensee via a planned government tender.