Time runs out as regulator threatens to switch off unregistered lines

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TIME is running out for mobile phone subscribers to register unregistered lines after the country’s telecoms regulator issued an ultimatum to be complied with by monthend.

Report by Business Reporter

Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile phone operator, Telecel — yesterday urged its subscribers to register mobile phone lines before the telecoms regulator switches off illegal lines.

Early this month the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) ordered mobile phone operators to switch off all unregistered lines amid concerns that subscribers are engaging in criminal activities using the lines. Mobile phone users are expected to register the lines by Saturday.

The development comes at a time when the market is flooded with activated lines from the country’s three mobile operators — Econet, Telecel and NetOne.

Telecel, once the smallest operator in terms of subscribers, became the first mobile phone operator to slash the cost of subscriber identity module cards (SIM cards) in a bid to grow its subscriber base after the introduction of multiple currencies in 2009.

This move resulted in the telecoms company overtaking State-owned NetOne although it remained a distant second from Econet Wireless, which has over eight million subscribers.

“Any subscriber with an unregistered SIM card risks disconnection if he or she has not registered the line before August 31,” said Telecel Zimbabwe communications and branding director Obert Mandimika in a statement.

“Most of our customers are already fully registered, but those who are not need to register before Saturday August 31 to ensure they are not inconvenienced by being disconnected.

“While Telecel does not wish to inconvenience any subscribers, it will have to disconnect those who remain unregistered after August 31 in order to comply with Potraz requirements,” Mandimika said, adding that registration of SIM cards was an important exercise which was being carried out by all networks.

This development comes at a time when micro-blogger Baba Jukwa has been releasing unverified damning reports on Zanu PF officials as well as security chiefs, urging followers to call and confront them.

“The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, together with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and the three mobile network operators Econet Wireless, Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne have noted with grave concern an upsurge in the number of offensive and abusive calls generated from unregistered SIM cards across all networks,” said the telecoms regulator early this month.

4 COMMENTS

  1. HOW DOES ONE REGISTER THEIR SIM CARD? DO THEY HAVE TO HAVE THEIR ID NUMBER PUT AGAINST THE PHONE NUMBER? HOW DOES THAT WORK?

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