UCC stops sell of SIM-CARDS, unapproved phones by telecom operators

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By Ronald Kabuye
The Uganda communications commission UCC has stopped telecom companies from sell of new simcards until they procure card readers which must get an interface with original national identity card of the client before activating the card and to recall all the sim- cards in stock of their agents, deactivate them in addition to those that were not properly registered.
Speaking to the press the executive director of the Uganda Communications Commission UCC Engineer Godfrey Mutabazzi has called for immediate arrest of vendors, hawkers, agents saling SIM cards and airtime that are not authorized and licensed by KCCA and local Council authorities and these have been given 48 hours to vacate the streets to the authorized offices.
“all telecom operators shall acquire and install card readers at their respective service centres to validate National identification information during subscriber registration. This information shall instantly be verified electronically against the national database maintained by NIRA through the application program interface (API)  which shall be hosted by UCC henceforth. All new SIM card registration going forward shall be expected to comply with this requirement” said Mutabazzi
Mutabazzi has said that they will also not spare all shops saling handsets and phones without type approval by the commission.
He asserted that the new guidelines will also help in fighting phone theft since once such is recorded with telecom company during replacement of SIM card they will be able to block the stolen phone from using any other SIM card.
He added that they will now start operating like National Drugs Authority NDA.
“telecom operators shall forthwith be liable for any violation of commission directives by their staff or agents (s) whether such violation is by omission,  commission or otherwise.” said Mutabazzi
On simcard replacement, now one needs to get a police report, go to the telecom company in person and with an original national identity card.
However Mutabazzi couldn’t establish the time frame it will take for the telecom companies to procured and install the card readers.
On how they are going to enforce the guidelines and to arrest the culprit Mutabazzi called for cooperation from both public and security agencies.

on registration of online publication commonly known as blogs, Mutabazzi said their major aim is to know the details of them but not to stop them from operating.
On the alleged airtel unregistered SIM cards that purportedly were used by the suspected late Suzan Magara killers, Mutabazzi said they are moving on well and once all is done they will inform the press.

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