Togo moves to quell multiple SIM ownership

13 May 2021

The government of Togo has set a cap on the number of active SIM cards that any individual can own, Togo First reports. According to a press release by the Regulatory Authority for Electronc Communications and Posts (Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes, ARCEP), on 29 April 2021 the Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation, Cina Lawson, signed off on a decree that is designed to strengthen ‘the legal framework, particularly concerning the identification of mobile service subscribers, to ensure compliance with regulatory and international obligations’. The regulator says the move should help in the battle to stop criminals using cellular phones in their activities, and is in response, it says, to complaints from consumer associations. ARCEP’s new legislation ‘applies only to individuals’ (i.e. not businesses) and caps the number of active SIMs to three per operator. It issued a warning that ‘those using more than three SIM cards per operator have six months to comply with the legal provisions or risk the suspension of all their numbers’. The regulator has also called on the country’s incumbent operators to ‘ease the process’ for end users.