From Monday, September 5, 2022, mobile network subscribers in Ghana who have still not re-registered their SIM cards and has done only stage one re-registration will start receiving punitive actions including the blocking of all their outgoing calls and data services for 48 hours (2 days) per week.
This will be done in a sequential batch of numbers on a rotational basis weekly as a second punitive measure.
The first punitive measure includes re-routing of all outgoing calls for a message to be played before all calls go through everyday.
This is part of punitive actions the National Communications Authority (NCA) has communicated to all Mobile Network Operators (MNO) for them to institute against users who have still not re-registered their SIM Cards beginning Monday, September 5, 2022.
In a letter dated September 2, 2022, signed by the Director-General, the NCA reminded the MNOs of the registration exercise which is ending on September 30, 2022.
"Please be informed that the punitive measures which were discussed at the meeting at the NCA on 3rd August, 2022, were compiled and reviewed following your submission. After a comprehensive review and with the approval of the Honourable Minister for Communications, Please find below the punitive measures," the letter stated.
The punitive actions starting this week affect only AirtelTigo, Glo, MTN and Vodafone.
“MNOs [Mobile Network Operators] shall divide the unregistered SIMs into five batches for the purpose of implementing this punitive measure.
“These measures shall exclude blocking of SMS to give defaulting subscribers the opportunity to initiate registration if they so wish. Subscribers who fully register their SIM Cards within the period they have been blocked will only be unblocked by the MNOs after the 48 hours to avoid the MNOs tampering with their systems intermittently,” parts of the letter read.
Vodafone for instance has already sent out messages to customers informing them about the plan to bar unregistered SIM cards from some services beginning September 5.
After September 2022
The letter added that after September 30, 2022, all unregistered SIM cards will be blocked and this is where it will affect all BWAs including Telesol, Surfline and Busy.
“MNOs shall put disconnected SIM Cards in a holding category and current subscribers of these SIM Cards shall be given six (6) months to register their SIM cards, failing which these numbers will be churned by the MNOs,” it added.
The NCA further asked MNOs to liaise with the Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water and other service providers to ensure that their data-only SIMs are registered duly.
The Director-General also directed the MNOs to configure their systems to facilitate the use of passports for non-resident Ghanaians until December 31, 2022.
PUNITIVE MEASURES FOR UNRESGISTERED SIM CARDS KICK IN SEPTEMBER 5
- Voice measures start Monday September 5
- Data measures start Monday September 12
Accra, September 4, 2022: A set of punitive measures designed to culminate the yearlong nationwide SIM registration exercise will kick in from Monday September 5, 2022.
The punitive measures are as follows:
- From Monday September 5, 2022, subscribers who have not started their registration will have all outgoing calls re-routed to an Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) for a SIM registration sensitization message to be played before all calls are connected.
- Subscribers with uncompleted registration, that is those who linked their Ghana Cards to their SIM cards via *404# but have not proceeded to have their biodata captured will also face similar disruption in service from Wednesday September 7, 2022.
- Punitive measures for data services will however kick in from September 12.
- Outgoing calls and data services will be blocked for these affected subscribers for 48 hours once a week once the punitive measures kick in for the month of September, 2022.
- Subscribers who have neither begun Stage 1 nor completed Stage 2 of the SIM Registration process will be allowed to reconnect their SIMs after duly completing the two stages of the registration process.
- After September 30, 2022, these SIMs as described above will not have access to any service as their SIMs will be deactivated. Subscribers will have a period of six (6) months to register to redeem their SIMs failing which their numbers will be churned – that is re-assigned to the pool to be sold to potential new subscribers.
The NCA encourages subscribers to register their SIMs to avoid the associated inconvenience and potential disruption in service after September 30. Subscribers are further reminded that, all Data SIMS, that is SIMs in devices such as MiFis, routers, trackers, etc. must also be registered.
MNOs are still continuing with SIM registration at their customer care centres and through agents who have been deployed across the country. Subscribers who have completed stage one (that is linking their Ghana Cards with their SIM cards by dialing *404#) with access to smartphones and internet connectivity are encouraged to download the GH SIM SELF REG app on the Google Play Store to complete their registration.
Issued by the National Communications Authority: