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CRAN continues to urge customers to participate in SIM registration process

CRAN continues to urge customers to participate in SIM registration process

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has reported that only 795,991 out of the 2,760,804 active SIM cards have been registered across all licensed networks in Namibia as of June. This represents a registration rate of just 29%.

With the mandatory SIM card registration deadline only four months away, the regulatory authority announced that unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated immediately after 31 December.

CRAN is urging the public to actively participate in SIM registration to avoid deactivation of their SIM cards.

CRAN issued a directive in May stating that mandatory biometric data collection for SIM card registration is no longer required.

“Operators will only require the information as set out in the regulations, which includes, the name of the customer, his/her address of ordinary residence, and his/her Namibian ID, passport or any other official identity document issued by the government of any other country. Customers who, however, voluntarily choose to provide their biometrics data are welcome to do so,” according to a statement by CRAN.

Katrina Sikeni, CRAN’s Executive Communication and Consumer Relations Officer, stated that among the challenges faced by mobile operators during the SIM card registration process include resistance from local authorities in allowing the setting up of registration points as well as power failures in remote areas that interrupt the automated registration process, slow or relaxed uptake of SIM card registration by customers, inaccurate information submitted by customers, and customers who do not have national identification documents or proof of residence.

She further asserted that the industry SIM registration monitoring committee will consider these challenges by engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure a seamless registration process.

“We wish to reiterate that all unregistered SIM cards by 31 December 2023 will be deactivated, and these consumers will not be able to utilise telecommunications services,” read the statement by CRAN.

To address the issue around biometric data collection during the SIM registration process, Sikeni explained that they conducted a compliance monitoring exercise, which has concluded that all licensed operators have complied with the directive as issued by CRAN, reiterating that there is no mandatory registration of biometric data, during the registration process.

SIM Card Registration is a national initiative in Namibia that aids in crime investigation using mobile devices. It also facilitates digital identity registration, benefiting Namibians through virtual teaching, mobile banking, and online shopping, the Authority noted. The increasing use of digital services highlights the need for national safety and security agencies to ensure a safe digital environment.

Mrs. Katrina Sikeni, Executive: Communication & Consumer Relations, CRAN.


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