Mobile phone SIMs in UAE must be registered
All UAE residents must register their mobile phone SIM cards in the next 18 months or have telephone services cut off, officials have warned.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has said that all Etisalat and du customers must register their SIM cards with the government under the new ‘My Number, My Identity’ programme.
Everyone with a mobile phone must go to a du or Etisalat shop with their passport or national ID card to prove they still have their phone’s SIM, authorities said.
“It’s up to the phone companies to implement the programme but customers will be given several reminders before the SIM card may be shut down,” a TRA official said.
The TRA has said that while the programme is now up and running, it will likely be about 18 months before unregistered SIM cards will be cut off and that all du and Etisalat customers will receive notification of the programme either through text message or phone call.
“Registration will be a very easy process and there will be a number of reminders before any phone could be cut off,” the official said.
The company added in a statement that registration “prevents any unauthorised or criminal usage of SIM cards and helps in curbing legal or social violations besides reducing frauds that have been noticed during the last few years”.
And the TRA warned that sharing SIM cards can result in authorities holding the owner responsible for “unwanted consequences, including being held accountable for any improper conduct or misuse”.
The new scheme, the TRA said, will also help it track people who send abusive or threatening texts or make phone calls to intimidate people. It also said the scheme will protect customers from abuse of stolen or lost phones.
Saleh Abdulla Al Abdooli, chief executive officer of Etisalat, added registration provides necessary protection to subscribers and “enables them to procure all services easily”.