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Ugandan telecoms to deactivate all unregistered SIM-cards tonight

Mutabazi briefs the media today

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has ordered telecommunication companies to deactivate all unregistered or partially registered phone SIM-cards by midnight tonight.

The order will also affect all pre-activated SIM-cards being sold on the streets. Registration for a SIM-card will from midnight tonight be open only to customers with either a National Identity Card or passport.

“Moving forward, a passport and or National ID will be the only recognised form of Identification,” said Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC Executive Director.

Mutabazi told the press on Wednesday that the directives were handed to the telecom operators at a Tuesday meeting. He cited security concerns, with Police warning that unregistered SIM-cards being used by criminals, most recently before the murder of AIGP Felix Kaweesi.

The telecom operators on their part requested access to the National ID database for verification of subscribers and SIM (subscriber identification module) registration.

This is the third deadline in Uganda related to SIM card registration the regulator is issuing to telecoms. The first closed in September 30, 2013 – after several extensions, and the second was in October 2015.

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