Thursday, July 11, 2013

Operators to pay N200,000 for every unregistered SIM

7:02 AM

Vice Chairman,NCC
Source:The punch

Any telecommunications operator that failed to disconnect unregistered Subscriber Identity Module cards from its network by July 1 this year in line with the directive of the Nigerian Communications Commission will have to pay N200,000 fine per SIM if detected.

The Assistant Director, NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka, revealed this to our correspondent in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

“For a SIM card that an operator refuses to disconnect after the June 30 deadline, the operator will pay N200,000,” he said

The penalty is similar to that which the operators deemed to be frustrating porting processes under the Mobile Number Portability scheme will pay on every frustrated line because the NCC has also pegged the penalty for MNP abuses at N200,000 per line.

Confirming this, Muoka said, “The penalty is like that of number portability where operators are required to pay N200,000 as fine for not allowing a subscriber that wants to port to do so.”

Ten days after the expiration of the SIM card registration deadline, there are still indications that some telecoms operators have yet to disconnect unregistered SIMs on their networks.

Some that claimed to have disconnected unregistered SIMs, it was learnt, only partially implemented the NCC directive by disconnecting a few SIMs.

The Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, NCC, Mr. Ubale Maska, in a recent letter to telecoms operators, cautioned them to either commence deactivation of unregistered SIMs on their networks, or face heavy sanction.

The letter read in part, “Please note that the commission has commenced compliance monitoring and if unregistered SIM cards are found to be active on your networks, the commission shall invoke its powers under regulation 19 and 20 of the Registration of Subscribers Regulations, 2011 and impose the maximum fine on your companies without further recourse to any network.”

In a bid to ensure that the directive was strictly adhered to, NCC also directed operators to forward to the commission a summary of the registered and active lines on their networks as of June 30.

The Commission also demanded that operators forward to it details of unregistered and deactivated lines as of June 30, in line with Section 15(2) of the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations, 2011.

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