The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has set September 30 as the new deadline for existing phone users to register SIM cards, warning mobile phone users that any unregistered SIM cards will be disconnected thereafter.
MACRA is calling upon the general public to go to their respective phone service providers to have their numbers before the new deadline.
In a statement issued on Friday, Macra Director general Godfrey Itaye said every SIM card purchased from July 1 will have to be registered within a maximum of seven days.
“When all subscriber details have been provided, the SIM card will be activated before the seven days elapse. But if this had not been satisfied within the seven days, the SIM card will no longer be useful and the customer will need to buy another one and start the process over,” Itaye said in the statement.
The industry regulator said any number that is not registered by the set date will automatically be barred from its network until registration is done. MACRA said new subscribers should register upon acquisition of their numbers with the service provider, be it the phone company, distributor, agent or dealer authorised to provide or sell generic numbers or SIM cards.
To register new Sim cards users will be required to provide their full names, gender, date of birth, residential or business address as well as identity card number.
Malawi launched a mandatory SIM identification campaign in June 2017, in order to prevent the use of mobile phones for criminal purposes. The move follows the introduction of the Communications Act No. 34 of 2016, which outlines the obligations of consumers and service providers concerning the registration of SIM cards.
MACRA has introduced mandatory SIM card registration in the country to get information of mobile users.