Unregistered SIM cards can’t access data service from Nov 20  

all SIM cards
File photo: MTN staff checking registration status and registering customers who needs to register their SIM cards at Kaneshie Market 2
  • To be deactivated completely on November 30

As part of measures being taken to ensure a secure and safe digital ecosystem, all SIM cards which have completed the first stage of the registration exercise but not done the second phase will be blocked from accessing data services, effective November 20, 2022.

The SIM cards will be deactivated completely on November 30, 2022, Communications and Digitalisation Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has warned in an update on the Sim Card Registration Exercise, dated November 11, 2022.

Currently, 30,011,082 SIMS have completed the first stage – linking of Ghana Card to SIM number. And as of November 9, 2022, 20,892,970 subscribers had completed the SIM card registration –linkage and biometric. Almost 70 percent of these registrations have been completed.

Reason for the partial registration

Enumerating some of the reasons for the inability of the 30,011,082 subscribers to complete the second phase of the registration exercise, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful observed that they used other people’s cards to link their numbers.

“This includes vendors who used the cards of others without the knowledge or consent of the card owners. Their inability to complete phase two attests to the robustness of the authentication process designed into the SIM registration architecture. It will flush out all fakes. You cannot use someone else’s Ghana Card to register your SIM,” she stated.

“Despite ample opportunity afforded all to complete the registration of their SIM cards, some who have the Ghana Cards and have begun the process, have failed to complete the registration. That is their choice and we cannot begrudge them,” the Communication and Digitalisation Minister added.

She said a further announcement will be made shortly on measures to accommodate those who genuinely do not have Ghana Cards, once, the ongoing consultations have been concluded.

Other consumer protection measures

At the inception of the SIM registration exercise, government – through the ministry – announced that the maximum number of SIMs that can be registered by an individual is ten.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, therefore, urged all citizens and residents to check the number of SIM cards registered to their Ghana Card at the end of November when the facility will be activated.

“To ensure that they retain the mandated number of SIM cards, any additional SIM registered above the mandated number of 10 will be deactivated,” she stated. “All MNOs must also properly categorise registered corporate SIMs.”

Enabling environment for digital platform access

According to Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, the priority of the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation has always been to ensure digital inclusion and to provide a secure environment for Ghanaians to access digital services.

“Government is working to provide an enabling environment for all to access and use digital platforms by fostering the development of these technologies including SIM enabled ones. ICT should be accessible to all without any risks, and the SIM registration exercise will solve a lot of issues in the industry,” she added.

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