The drive to register or reregister SIM cards continues, with Myanmar among the latest countries to set a deadline.
In fact the deadline for reregistering SIM cards in Myanmar is only a matter of days away. The country’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) has issued a statement reminding users to reregister their SIM cards by 30 June. Unregistered SIMs will be deactivated on that date.
As in many other countries, the stated reasons for the reregistration drive – launched in February – were to help protect the security of mobile financial services, to prevent phone-related crime and to crack down on incorrectly registered SIMs.
One big problem has been that many sellers have been pre-registering SIMs, despite lack of customer ID card, meaning that some SIMs were not properly linked to the user. A limit of two SIMs per operator per national identification card has now been imposed, with unregistered SIMs partially blocked.
Regular readers will have heard much of this before. A little under two years ago, the Malawian regulator imposed SIM card registration effective for all new cards since July 2018, in a bid to discourage crime. In February this year both Zambia – through state-owned operator Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) – and Nigeria started pushing through new rules on mobile subscriber registration. Late last year China implemented mandatory use of facial recognition technology for SIM registrations.
And some authorities have imposed fines on dodgy SIM deals. Earlier this month Vietnamese operators Mobifone, Vietnamobile, Viettel and Vinaphone each received a fine for registering new customers using false information.
And operators can be affected in other unwelcome ways too. In February UAE operator du mentioned that a reason for apparent customer declines was the negative impact on its base of SIM registration disconnections.