WINDHOEK: The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) disclosed that about 33 percent of active SIM cards in the country have been registered.
According to the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa), Emilia Nghikembua, provided this update in a media statement on Monday, specifying that the figure relates to the 2,789,580 active SIM cards across all licensed networks as of September 30. Among these, MTC has the highest number of active SIM card subscribers, approximately 2,353,298, with 799,797 having been registered so far.
Telecom Namibia follows with 429,732 active subscribers, with an estimated 117,585 registered. Paratus Telecommunications has recorded 5,152 registrations out of 5,437 active SIM cards, while UCOM Mobile Namibia has achieved a 100 percent registration rate with all 1,113 of its active subscribers.
Nghikembua mentioned that the registration rate may be influenced by factors such as reluctance from local authorities to provide registration points, power outages in remote regions, and slow uptake by customers.
To improve registration rates, CRAN has requested assistance from regional governors and chief regional officers in providing free venues for SIM card registration and in promoting awareness in their communities.
SIM card registration is mandatory, and users who fail to comply by the end of December 2023 will face a three-month suspension period, during which they can only receive warning messages on their devices. Within this period, they may reactivate their service by completing registration, thus retaining their number. If a SIM card remains unregistered after the suspension, the service and number will be permanently cancelled, requiring the purchase of a new SIM card and the loss of the previous number.
This initiative by CRAN places Namibia amongst 157 other countries that have adopted mandatory SIM card registration as an international best practice.