" ITREALMS: GSM operators must deactivate pre-registered SIM cards within 7-day - NCC

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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

GSM operators must deactivate pre-registered SIM cards within 7-day - NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed all the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) operators in the country to deactivate any pre-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards within the next 7 days, reports ITRealms.

NCC said this direction has become necessary due to avalanche of intractable security situation in the country linked to mobile communication, saying any defaulting operator would face sanction.

Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo in a press statement made available to ITRealms, said the directive was the fallout of a meeting between Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Department of State Service (DSS), the network operators and the NCC. 

The meeting, he said, which held at the NCC boardroom in Abuja and took into cognizance crimes committed against members of the public either by kidnappers, terrorists, robbers and threats to lives, through the use of such unregistered SIM cards across all the networks.

He also said that operators were however told to notify such subscribers before deactivation of their SIM cards.

At the meeting were the representatives of the NSA, Group Captain Ibikunle Daramola, DSS, Mr. Godwin Ometu, the immediate past NCC Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Dr Eugene Juwah Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr. Ubale Maska and representatives of MTN, Globacom, Etisalat, Visafone , Airtel and others.

Ojobo who was also at the meeting stated specifically that:
·        Seven days’ notice is hereby given for deactivation of all invalid/improperly registered SIM cards; these include all SIM cards without or improperly captured facial pictures and or finger – prints.
·        Affected subscribers to be notified to regularize their registrations.
The meeting resolved that:
·        Henceforth, ALL registrations must conform to the Data Dictionary, Technical Specifications on finger prints and facial images and the business rule agreed by all stakeholders.
·        All registration records must be validated before sending to the Commission; thus eliminating all invalid records that does not conform new registrations and indicate same in the monthly reports sent to Commission.
·        It was also resolved that operators will be held liable for cases for cases of pre-registered SIMs.
·        Earlier grace of 21 days given by the Commission has lapsed.
·        Accordingly, the Commission has commenced monitoring as from Monday, August 3, 2015.
·        SANCTIONs for default will apply in accordance with the SIM registration regulations.
On multiple registration. NCC Said:
·        The regulation did not set a cap for number of SIMs to be registered by individual or corporate subscribers.
·        However, operators must ensure ALL registrations valid and in accordance with the documents and specifications stated in 1 (a).
·        Unusually high number of registration by an individual should be flagged and reported to the commission.
·        The Commission and all operators are to embark on vigorous public enlightenment on the need/ desirability for subscribers to register their SIMs, as well as the dangers of selling /buying pre-registered SIMs.
Earlier, it was observed that:
·        To date, more than 120 million SIM cards have been registered and transmitted to the Central Database by the operators.
·        The validation exercise reveals a preponderance of unreliable data in terms of incomplete and/ or inaccurate demographic and / or biometric data.
·        The issues relating to unreliability of data essentially borders on the operators’ failure to ensure compliance with the formats and specifications that were jointly developed and agreed by the NCC and the operators before the commencement of the exercise in 2011.
·        The observation also image only noted that as at September 2014, about 45% of the total number of registered SIMs, at that time, were deemed invalid for reasons of a) invalid portrait image only, invalid fingerprints only, invalid portrait image and fingerprints, and incorrect/ inaccurate demographic data (name, address, etc).
·        Since the invalid records were returned to the operators in September 2014 for correction, less than 30% of the invalid records has been resubmitted.
·        These resolutions were part of the ongoing efforts by government to nip in the bud the incessant occurrences of threats via telecommunications networks and the danger they portend for psyche of the citizenry.

+ITRealms DSA +Remmy Nweke (ITRealms) 
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