Charles Punaha

No further extension to SIM registration: NICTA

He said this at Yangoru Secondary School in East Sepik Province.

Punaha, who was travelling as part of the Planning and Monitoring Minister Richard Maru’s delegation, urged locals to immediately register their SIMs.

“If you do not register your SIM cards by the end of this month, I feel sorry for you, but your service will be disconnected.

“Do not blame me or the service provider. It will be your own fault,” said Punaha.

No exception for SIM card deactivation

Chief Executive Officer of the National Information and Communications Technology Authority, Charles Punaha, said NICTA formally submitted a request to the government for extension to be allowed to the 5 provinces affected by the February 26th earthquake.

However, the government stands firm that ample time was given during the 22 months’ grace period.

SIM cards to be sold at designated outlets

Chief executive officer of National Information and Communication Authority, Charles Punaha, announced that SIM cards will be strictly sold at designated outlets starting this week.

These outlets will register the cards upon purchase.

“We will publish a public notice advising the mobile service operators, sales outlets and general public that between now and April 30th 2018, new SIM cards will only be sold at outlets where SIM cards can be registered,” stated Punaha.

SIM card grace period to end soon

This was made known to this newsroom recently by Chief Executive Officer of National Information and Communication Authority, Charles Punaha.

Punaha said on April 30th, mobile network operators are expected to deactivate the unregistered SIM cards of their customers.

Punaha revealed Digicel PNG is yet to register 1 million customers, bmobile has an outstanding of 30,000 users not registered while Telikom PNG has to register its remaining 140 subscribers.

No more SIM rego extension: Basil

Basil noted a spike in registration in December 2017, when the initial deadline was set for December 31st, 2017.

But with almost 1.5 million subscribers yet to be registered, the deadline was extended twice.

The current date is set for April 30.

The state and the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) have partnered with the PNG Council of Churches to push the registration into the outmost parts of PNG using the churches’ network.

New computer response team launched

The team comprises experts from various stakeholders and agencies who will address and mitigate vulnerabilities that threaten the cyber environment and infrastructure.

The launching sets the pace for the implementation of the Cyber security law and APEC preparations.

Mobile phones are an integral part of most Papua New Guinean women, men and children and the abuse of mobile communications is a widespread issue giving rise to cybercrime in the country.

Cybercrime law audit underway

The audit will cover cyber security assessments as well the audit of all the critical internet infrastructure nationwide.

The findings of the audit are expected to be made available by the end of February.

This exercise is being carried out as per instructions issued by Minister for Communications, Information, Technology and Energy, Sam Basil.

Basil last year directed the ICT sector to shape up and formulate a more coordinated approach.

Sim users and operators warned

NICTA CEO, Charles Punaha, explained that sim users need to take into consideration the 30 day in-active period, when a card can be made in-active if there is no usage by the user.

He also warned that after 90 days the operators can recycle the number back into the system to be reissued to new sim cards.

Meantime, Communications Minister, Sam Basil has warned all operators to not charge users for registration of sim cards.

The Minister says that any operator found to be charging users will be dealt with by NICTA and the ICCC.

Punaha: Churches to help register rural population

National Information and Communications Technology Authority CEO, Charles Punaha verified that priests, pastors and layman can be used as reputable persons to identify and vouch for members of their congregation at points of registration.

“We are also going to simplify the form of registration so that the pastors can sign and get as many of their parishioners registered.

Internet cost still high

National Information and Communications Technology Authority CEO, Charles Punaha said today.

“The challenge for us in PNG is very harsh, once we acknowledge that cost of rolling out infrastructure services in the country is very high due to the topography foundation, power grid does not extend beyond major centres, and operators have to put up stand by generators and buy fuel,” Punaha said.

But internet cost and accessibility has improved in the last 10 years, after government opened up the market.