Economy, Sci & Tech

Iran SIM Card Regulation Intensifies

Iran SIM Card Regulation IntensifiesIran SIM Card Regulation Intensifies

Outgoing calls and text messages for 2 million unidentified SIM card owners have been blocked, said the spokesperson of the Communications Regulatory Authority, Jahangir Asadi.  

Owners of such SIM cards need to approach the relevant body and complete their identification details latest by January 19.

 SIM cards lacking updated ID ownership after the deadline will be disconnected from the cell phone network, IRNA quoted the official as saying.

Details that the CRA demands include the national identification number of owners and residential address. "Measures taken for sorting unidentified SIM cards have proven effective," the state news agency quoted him as saying. He did not elaborate.

A plan to regulate SIM cards was launched two years ago. In the first stage of the plan, those who owned more than 10 SIM cards were identified. The measure was taken to sell idle numbers and reduce prank calls. The last phase of the plan is now in the implementation phase.

"When the plan was first launched there were 30 million unidentified SIM cards. Now it is 4.5 million," Asadi said.

One agitated Irancell subscriber whose outgoing calls and text messages had recently gotten blocked said that the SIM card he owns was bought from a certified dealership and was working without any hassle for five years. The barring had come as astonishing to this subscriber who said the company's customer service department could not be reached.

 A website was created in March 2016 to sort out the ID issues of mobile phone subscribers. By referring to the site, customers know the number of SIM cards registered in their names.

Latest reports published by the technical and economic investigation bureau, affiliated to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, show that as of September 2016, mobile phone operators had sold a total of 150,365,551 SIM cards, 78,668,33 of which were in active use. Iran has a population of 80 million.

There are three mobile phone operators in Iran: Hamrah-e-Avval or MCI, Irancell, and RighTel.  Active cell phone users have a penetration rate of 98.72%.

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