On July 1, 2010, our country embarked on a SIM Card Registration Exercise which required users of mobile telephony services to register their SIM cards. The exercise was to run for a full year from July 1 2010 to June 30 2011 at the end of which any SIM card that remained unregistered would be deactivated. At the end of that period, nearly all SIM cards in use had been registered. However, it quickly became evident that quite a number of subscribers had not followed the due process for the registration therefore their registrations could not be validated. While some of the reasons for invalid registrations could be traced to the quality of subscriber information provided, others could be attributed to human error in the registration process, or plain deception on the part of subscribers and registration agents alike. At the time, the NCA announced the need for time to allow for invalid registrations to be corrected and indicated the Authority's resolve to ensuring that the exercise achieved a thoroughly sanitised and complete register. Due to the importance attached to this exercise, Parliament at its sitting on February 1, 2012 adopted the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011 (L.I. 2006) to give backing to SIM card registration. The Legislation provides that as from March 3 2012, no SIM card can be used if not duly registered. Consequently, no mobile network operator shall be able to activate a SIM card for a new customer without it having been registered. Also existing subscribers who have either not registered their SIM cards or whose earlier registrations are invalid are required to re-register, failing which their SIM cards will be de-activated. The purpose of this briefing is to highlight the issue of the mandatory requirement that any SIM card in use must be registered by the deadline of March 3, 2012 after which any unregistered SIM card cannot be in use. It is therefore important for subscribers to ensure that their SIM cards are validly registered. In order to check this, the NCA, in collaboration with the Mobile Network Operators, has instituted a checking mechanism which works by simply texting your phone number to short code 400 of your service provider. A text sent to this number should come back with a reply indicating whether or not a subscriber is validly registered. A reply indicating that a subscriber is not validly registered would require that the subscriber takes the necessary step of going to the office of the service provider to re-register using any one of the following valid IDs: 1.PASSPORT 2.DRIVERíS LICENCE 3.VOTER ID CARD 4.NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION CARD 5.NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE CARD It is important to reiterate the point that it is not the intention of the NCA to see even a single subscriber lose the use of his/her SIM card. The exercise itself is not meant to be punitive. Rather, it is meant to strengthen the consumer's contractual relationship with his/her network Operator. It is the NCA's expectation that subscribers will heed to this notice and ensure that their SIM cards are validly registered. Should any subscriber experience any difficulty in registering their SIM card, please take the immediate step of visiting the nearest office of your service provider who would be more than willing to assist you in solving the problem. We take this opportunity to invite persons of the media to use your respective media outlets to assist in raising awareness of the need to adhere to the deadline of March 3, 2012. Thank you.
ISSUED BY: THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY ACCRA