Economy, Sci & Tech

SIM Card Control Intensifies

SIM Card Control IntensifiesSIM Card Control Intensifies

Owners of more than 10 SIM cards have been given an ultimatum to submit their personal details by Sunday.

The legal limit on the number of SIM cards that can be owned by one individual stands at 10. The Communications Regulatory Authority of Iran put forth a plan six months ago to identify those who own more than 10 SIM cards.

The measure was taken to redistribute idle numbers and reduce prank calls.

According to Gholamreza Dadashzadeh, deputy for supervision at CRA, all SIM card owners have submitted their national identification numbers and the first in three steps of the plan is now complete.   

The second step of the plan targets owners of more than 10 SIM cards, ISNA quoted him as saying. Over 350,000 individuals own more than 10 postpaid SIM cards issued by the Mobile Telecommunications Company of Iran, and another 620 people own more than 10 contract SIM cards, the official announced.

"Also, more than 1,500 users own over 10 postpaid SIM cards that have been issued by the country's second mobile operator, Irancell."  

The individuals have been notified at least six times via text messages sent by operators. To sort out the situation, they must go to National Mobile Customer Service offices around the country. If they fail to do so, the call option will be disabled on all their SIM cards and they will only be able to use the SIMs for text messaging until the problem is rectified, Dadashzadeh announced.

In the third step of the plan, using a comprehensive system designed by the operators, the information provided by SIM card owners will be run against their registered national identification numbers.    

The website will be made available for public viewing next week, the official said.

Last week, Iran's cyber police also warned the public to take better care of their postpaid SIM cards as "cybercrimes are on the rise and fraudsters can hide behind the identities of the true owners of the SIM cards to carry out ill-intentioned scheming."

Postpaid SIMs are cheap and easy to obtain, which is why some do not take good care of the ones they have. People buy several SIM cards without properly disposing of older ones, Mehr New Agency reported on Thursday.

The cyber police have announced that despite the fact that the fraudsters will be identified if any problems occur, the negligent owners of the SIM cards will also be held responsible.