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NCA to end SIM registration after review of exercise

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The 90-day mop up exercise announced by the National Communications Authority (NCA), after the expiration of the SIM Card Registration activity on June 30, would draw to a close on September 30.

A statement issued by the NCA on Wednesday in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the exercise would be reviewed to seal it finally.

The statement said: “As we approach the end of the 90-day mop-up period on September 30, the NCA wishes to thank all telecommunications Operators for their co-operation, subscribers for their commitment and the people of Ghana for their support in undertaking (the) massive registration exercise and thereby improving the opportunity for enhanced customer experience.”

“The aim in undertaking the exercise, among other things, was to empower subscribers as bona fide owners of their telephone numbers and in turn strengthen them to demand better services.

“By registering their numbers, subscribers improve their chances of seeking replacement of their SIM cards in the event of loss.”

The statement said the registration exercise was also aimed at increasing subscribers’ power of choice in a more competitive market.

It explained that one of the reasons for the registration exercise was to pave way for the introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), which has since been launched with a good degree of success.

“At the commencement of SIM Card Registration, MNP was an anticipated euphoria. Today, it is a reality of the subscriber’s life.

“As industry regulators, we are enjoined by law to ensure that Operators maintain a reliable database of all telephone subscribers.

“This provides a platform for the efficient functioning of other electronic communications services including mobile money transfer and other such services since the identity of SIM Card Owners can easily be verified,” the statement said.

In the course of the review process, NCA has undertaken constructive dialogue with various stakeholders with a view to making available to customers other benefits of SIM Card Registration.

One such benefit is incorporating into the SIM Card Registration an enhanced facility for the protection of customer investment in handsets and other devices through voluntary registration of their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI).

The IMEI is a number, usually unique, to identify mobile phones. It is usually found printed inside the battery compartment of the phone. It can also be displayed on the screen of the phone by entering *#06# into the keypad on most phones.

The IMEI number is used by communication networks to identify valid devices and facilitates the stopping of a stolen phone from accessing the network.

“For example, if a mobile phone is stolen, the owner can call his or her network provider and instruct them to “blacklist” the phone using its IMEI number. This renders the phone useless and makes phone theft unprofitable.

“Thus, we are aiming to make the SIM Card Registration even more meaningful for consumers and the people of Ghana. As soon as all systems for the enhanced SIM Card Registration are completed, we shall announce arrangements for bringing final closure to the exercise,” the statement said.

The statement reiterated NCA’s commitment to improve the communications industry and ensuring better services to the consumer.

Source: GNA

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