SIM card reg­is­tra­tion to be en­forced in 2017

The Myanmar Times - - Business - AUNG KYAW NYUNT aungkyawnyunt@mm­times.com

MO­BILE phone users will have to regis­ter their SIM cards start­ing next April, the gov­ern­ment says. The Min­istry of Trans­port and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions an­nounced yes­ter­day in state-owned me­dia that start­ing on March 31, 2017, all un­reg­is­tered SIM cards will be blocked.

The min­istry said mo­bile phone op­er­a­tors will be ad­vised when they re­ceive their li­cence that they must regis­ter the buyer of each SIM card they sell.

Mo­bile sub­scribers will have to give their name, a copy of their NRC, stu­dent card, driv­ing li­cence or pass­port, date of birth, ad­dress, gen­der, and na­tion­al­ity in or­der to regis­ter.

The min­istry said it wanted to smooth the in­tro­duc­tion of mo­bile bank­ing, mo­bile e-money and on­line shop­ping by safe­guard­ing users’ iden­tity se­cu­rity.

Though reg­is­tra­tion is of­fi­cial pol­icy, many users sim­ply buy cards with­out regis­ter­ing.

“SIM cards sell­ers don’t tell cus­tomers they’re sup­posed to regis­ter,” said Yangon mo­bile sub­scriber U Kyi Tun Oo.

Mo­bile tech­ni­cian Ko Htoo Htoo, also of Yangon, said he sup­ported the move.

“Peo­ple should regis­ter SIM cards be­cause the mo­bile sec­tor will con­tinue to de­velop rapidly. Peo­ple will have to use their cards with greater care, and that starts with regis­ter­ing,” he said.

Reg­is­tra­tion can al­ready be car­ried out on op­er­a­tors’ premises.

The com­mu­ni­ca­tions sec­tor is dom­i­nated by one lo­cal op­er­a­tor, MPT (Myan­mar Posts and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions), and two for­eign com­pa­nies, Te­lenor and Oore­doo. MPT has more than 20 mil­lion sub­scribers, Te­lenor Myan­mar more than 17 mil­lion and Oore­doo about 8 mil­lion.

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