SIM card grace period to end soon

The grace period for compulsory SIM card registration will end 3 weeks from now however, mobile operators are yet to register the targeted number of subscribers.

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.

“We have noticed that there hasn’t been much difference in registration statistics since the last data collected in December. There is not much progress,” said Punaha.

Despite this, he said the April 30th deadline is final and NICTA will strictly implement the SIM card registration policy in the rest of the country except the earthquake affected province.

“We have requested to Minister Sam Basil and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for consideration to be given to the earthquake affected provinces…and hoping for a 3-month extension for these provinces,” Punaha revealed.

He said NICTA’s enforcement officers will have access to the database of each mobile operator to allow audit and ensure the number of registered SIM cards correspond to the figures submitted, and further make sure the unregistered SIM cards are deactivated.

Meanwhile, NICTA has provided short codes for subscribers to check the status of their SIM cards.

(Charles Punaha - NICTA CEO)

Carolyn Ure