MTN has suspended the network access of all unregistered subscribers in Cameroon.
The move follows the operator’s recent agreement to pay a $1.7 billion penalty to the Nigerian Communications Commission – reduced from $5.2 billion - after failing to comply with regulation requiring it to disconnect unregistered SIMs.
MTN ran a campaign for subscriber identification in Cameroon between April and June this year following a governmental decree in September which required modalities to identify subscribers and terminal equipment for mobile networks.
Subscribers who failed to confirm their identities during this time have now been suspended, but can regain access by registering via an MTN service centre, a purpose-built identification centre, or the retail outlets for MTN’s distribution partners across the country. Once the process is complete, subscribers will be allowed to access the network within 24 hours. Any unregistered numbers will be disconnected after a set time.
With evident echoes of the company’s experiences in Nigeria, MTN Cameroon CEO Philisiwe Sibiya said that the operator is “leaving no stone unturned” in its efforts to comply with regulations for user verification.
Sibiya said: “MTN is a responsible corporate citizen conscious of the risks associated with unregistered SIMs, especially at this time of heightened insecurity. Subscriber identification is a permanent task and every MTN customer is important to us.”
MTN Cameroon was hit by corruption allegations from the country’s regulator earlier this year, which it denied.