Swazi MTN is all systems go in readiness for the massive roll-out of SIM registrations for its over 1 000 000 subscribers. This comes after the launch of the Swaziland Communications Commission’s (SCCOM) national subscriber initiative dubbed, ‘Vela Subscriber (SIM-Card) Registration.’
This is a national initiative that stems from the SCCOM’s Electronic Communications Subscriber Registration Regulations which were passed in 2016. According to the regulations, every subscriber of any electronic communications services has to be registered. Correspondingly, operators have to also ensure that every subscriber on their network is registered.
In adherence to this, Swazi MTN is informing its customers that SIM card registrations are underway in all MTN branded stores. Currently, the company is focussing on decentralising registrations to constituencies and through nationwide roadshows amongst other initiatives.
To register, both post-paid and prepaid customers are expected to produce their national IDs or passports and proof of residence or address which can be a lease agreement form, rates certificates, utility bill or letter from the owner of premises.
For local residents who live in the rural areas and cannot be able to produce the aforementioned proof of residence documents, they will be expected to produce a letter either from their constituency or chief. This registration process likely takes at most five minutes and it is free of charge. This rule applies even when a customer buys a new SIM card, activation of the SIM card will only happen after the card has been registered.
There shall also be no proxy registration of SIM cards. This means that it is mandatory for every person to register his or her SIM card personally and not on behalf of someone. The aim is to put a face to the subscriber’s number and this has been global practice for almost more than 15 years now. Swazi MTN assures customers that it will take reasonable precautions to preserve loss or unauthorised disclosure of their information.
Furthermore, SIM registration is anticipated to deliver positive outcomes for customers. These include augmenting customers safety, introducing tailormade products for customers which will be enabled by customer profiling, more access to e-government services, create opportunities for m-commerce and support government’s financial inclusion agendas, especially for people living in the rural areas.
For example, Swazi MTN’s Mobile Money has provided new channels for SIM card users to access traditional retail financial services such as remittances, payments, and savings amongst others. As a result, the company has about 520 000 Mobile Money subscribers with over E67 million in circulation between subscribers and agents. In order for these to continue to benefit from Mobile Money services, they have to register their SIM cards.
Subscribers who will fail to comply with the stipulated deadline risk being deactivated from the network. According to the regulator, SCCOM, the process should be completed within a period of 12 months from this month. This, therefore, suggests that the registration process should be concluded on or before April 04, 2019.
The regulator further disclosed that operators who will fail to comply shall be liable to a fine not exceeding E1 000 per SIM card or any other such amount as may be prescribed by the commission.
This new development which places the country alongside 80 other countries globally and 37 countries in the continent including South Africa, was commended by the Prime Minister Dr. Sibusiso Dlamini as a significant milestone for the local telecoms industry and a giant leap in pursuit of first world status. All information has been provided by the Public Relations Officer from MTN Mandla Luphondvo.