By Makhosi Sibanda
The country’s mobile network service providers Econet, Telecel and NetOne have warned their subscribers to register their lines to avoid being disconnected next month. The deadline for the registration of lines is 31 August.
The service providers are required to register their subscribers in line with the provisions of the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).
In a telephone interview from Harare, NetOne managing director Mr Reward Kangai said subscribers should register before their lines are disconnected, adding that reconnection would be costly.
“We were conducting the registration of the SIM cards long before the requirement by Potraz and most of our subscribers are registered,” said Mr Kangai.
“Our subscriber base is more than one million, but at least 100 000 customers are still to register. Our customers registered their lines upon buying them. Those who did not do so are required to register soon at our nearest outlets countrywide.”
Econet corporate communications manager Rangarirai Mberi said the registration of SIM cards was a standard procedure the world over.
“Service providers worldwide capture information of their subscribers and it is high time we followed suit,” said Mr Mberi.
He said Econet had always had a system to register SIM cards but some of the customers were not adhering to the requirements.
“Subscribers who will be still unregistered by 31 August will be disconnected,” he said.
In a statement Telecel said subscribers should register by 31 August or risk being disconnected.
“With less than six weeks to go before all mobile subscribers have to be registered, Telecel Zimbabwe has introduced on-line registration and registration via the mobile phone itself for the convenience of its customers,” read the statement.
Telecel said the registration of SIM cards was intended to protect members of the public from criminals using unregistered mobile phones to conduct criminal activities.
“It is important that they ensure that the information they supply during registration is correct, as information found to be false could result not only in the phone being disconnected but in their being barred from obtaining another line,” read the statement.
“This is a national security issue intended to benefit every citizen.”
Telecel said by offering on-line registration and registration through the mobile phone it had made the registration requirement easy to comply with.
“We would like to encourage all our subscribers to register as early as possible. When registration has been made this easy there is no reason why people should not start registering immediately” said Telecel.
There are no limits as to how many lines an individual could register. NetOne SIM cards are sold at US$3, Econet at US$2 while Telecel lines cost a dollar.