Namibia will require all mobile phone users to register their SIM card prior to accessing services following the introduction of new regulation.
The proposals were approved on 15th March, with local news outlet The Namibian quoting Minister of Information and Communication Technology Peya Mushelenga as saying that the regulation was in part a response to escalating cyber crime in Namibia.
“Right now anyone can go into a shop, buy a SIM card, and commit a crime. We are moving towards what is happening in South Africa where one cannot just by a SIM card – it must be registered”, said Mushelenga.
The minister noted that the proposals were developed with the consultation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), the director general of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service, and all of the country’s affected telecoms operators.
As reported by TeleGeography, the regulation will oblige all operators to store customer data for a minimum of five years from the date of first use. These records will be accessible by the Namibian Police and the Namibia Central Intelligence Service, but only with authorization from a judge or magistrate.
Market leading operator MTC stated that it encourages its subscribers to register their SIM cards voluntarily.