Dar es Salaam. Millions of mobile phone subscribers in Tanzania risk being locked out due to unregistered Sim Cards as the December 31deadline looms.
According to the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) the number of mobile phone users who have biometrically registered their sim cards now stands at 12 million.
Speaking to The Citizen today November 11, TCRA acting corporate communications manager, Mr Semu Mwakyanjala said the figure shows a great response from the public and he hopes the figure will continue rising before the December 31 deadline set by the government.
According to the June, 2019 Communication Statistics Report by TCRA the country has a total of 43.75 million sim card owners.
In May this year the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) directed all Subscriber Identification Module (Sim) cards to biometrically register their lines by the end of the year.
The exercise was conducted in Zanzibar and Dodoma, Dar es Salaam, Coast Region, Singida, Tanga and Iringa regions.
The move was meant to get rid of dishonest Sim card users and registration agents who harboured malicious intentions, including committing crimes.
Subscribers are required to register their Sim cards through biometric technology, using Nida IDs or at least a Nida registration number by December 31.
“We have initiated several campaigns to sensitize the public on the importance of biometric registration because the deadline will not be extended after December 31,” he stressed.
Explaining he said those who will fail to register biometrically will be locked out of the service and be forced to request for new numbers after the exercise.
He noted that so far through its campaign “mnada kwa mnada” the National Identification Authority (Nida), immigration, telecommunication operators and local governments are conducting open markets events where the public is issued with National Identificationnumbers to enable them register their sim cards biometrically.
He further noted that they are also conducting radio and television campaigns to increase public awareness.