Telecoms operators urge subscribers to confirm, register SIMs before deadline

LAGOS – With 11 days to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) deadline for the disconnection of all unregistered Subscribers Identification Modules (SIMs), telecommunications operators have called on their subscribers to confirm the status of the SIMs whether duly registered or not to avoid disconnection by June 30.

Indeed, Nigeria today has about 161 million connected lines and 117 million active lines. As usual, the GSM operators including MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat share 114 million active subscribers. The Code Division Multiple Operators including Visafone, Starcomms and Multilinks have 2.7 million active lines.

Major Telecoms operators in NigeriaSpeaking to journalists at different fora in Lagos, MTN Nigeria’s Corporate Service Executive, Akinwale Goodluck said that the operator was ready for the June 30 SIM registration deadline but not without urging its subscribers found wanting to register before the due date.

“We don’t want to lose our subscribers and no reasonable business person would like to lose its customers. We implore them to check their SIM status and register to avoid disconnection because their disconnection also means loss of revenue for the operators, for as long as the line is disconnected,” he said.

Chief Customer Service Officer, MTN Nigeria, Akin Braithwaite said in the last few weeks, MTN has been notifying subscribers on the impending deadline for SIM registration. “We are sending out communications via SMS, robotic and personal calls to ensure that they comply 100 per cent. We know not all of them are literate that’s why we’ve followed up with person to person calls directing them to our outlets to get assistance.”

Braithwaite, who informed that MTN subscribers could confirm their SIM status by sending REG to 746, added that all SIMs in Ipads, Internet dongles should also be registered.

Also, at a nationwide consumer forum in Port Harcourt, Airtel’s Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director, Deepak Srivastava urged its customers to register their SIMs ahead of the regulator’s June 30th deadline.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat, Steven Evans: “We continue to appeal to our subscribers to get their SIMs registered for them to continue to be on our innovative and best network.”

Evans, who said Etisalat Nigeria welcomes the decision by NCC, said that it would ensure that only registered subscribers were on any telecoms network. He urged Etisalat subscribers who were yet to register their lines to do so within the remaining grace period.

Speaking at the weekend, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo called on subscribers to ensure that their unregistered SIM cards are registered “before they are caught up in cobweb of the June 30 deadline.”

He warned defaulting subscribers on the “negative consequences of disconnection from enjoying services at this time when our life is increasingly depending on telecommunications services by the day.”

The NCC, had through its Director, Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo announced on May 10: “The Nigerian Communications Commission has set a deadline for disconnection of all unregistered SIM cards.”

According to him: “From 30th of June 2013, all unregistered SIM cards will be barred from the telecoms service,” stressing that failure to do the needful by an existing subscriber would lead to denial of service by the respective operator for which such an operator must comply.”

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