Mozambique regulator says unregistered SIMs will be blocked after 6 November

3 Nov 2020

The National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM, a.k.a. Communications Regulatory Authority, ARECOM) issued a statement urging users of unregistered or ‘irregularly registered’ mobile SIM cards to correctly register their SIMs by 6 November 2020 ‘under penalty of blocking the number and interruption of access to all services.’ SIM registration has been compulsory in Mozambique since 2015, but authorities have repeatedly voiced concerns that mobile operators have not adhered to the regulations. The INCM highlights Article 17 (Service Interruption) of the Regulation for the Registration and Activation of the Mobile Telephone Service Subscriber Identification Modules (approved by Decree No. 18 of 28 August 2015) which stipulates: ‘The Regulatory Authority shall determine that the operator or provider of telecommunications services interrupts or blocks the service provided to certain subscribers, when it finds that there are subscribers on the system not registered under the terms of this regulation.’

In relation to the links between unregistered SIM usage and illegal activity such as SIM box fraud (where international calls are routed via a VoIP gateway to disguise them as local traffic), the INCM’s latest statement added that it ‘is currently developing platforms for receiving, processing and forwarding reports of fraud, defamation, among other crimes perpetrated via mobile phone. These have caused enormous financial and moral damage to citizens, institutions and other entities.’