Registration Of SIM Cards In PNG Progressing Well

NICTA CEO says there will be no extension beyond end of year

By Rosalyn Albaniel

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, ) – The state entity charged in overseeing the mandatory subscriber information module (SIM) card registration says 18 months is ample time and there will be no extension.

It has also clarified misconceptions that have arisen pertaining to this exercise.

Chief executive officer of the National Information and Communication Authority (NICTA) Charles Punahah was giving an update on this country wide exercise.

Mr Punaha said the notice period will lapse on January 1 next year and the penalties would come into effect thereafter. For subscribers this means disconnection of services if they failed to register and for the mobile operators up to K50,000 [US$15,400] per SIM.

Mr Punaha said NICTA is keeping abreast of progress of this exercise, adding that that the prerequisites for proper identification to be provided – be it driver’s licence, national identification card or confirmation from a reputable person – still apply.

He said regular meetings with the mobile companies are also ongoing with another one with Irish firm Digicel scheduled to take place next week.

He said Digicel to date had about four million subscribers and about 500,000 had already registered. No figures could be provided for Telikom and bmobile but Mr Punaha said that almost all subscribers of these operators had registered.

On the misconception pertaining to subscriber’s privacy, Mr Punaha that registering does not mean that government would have access to their personal information.

He stressed any access to the data base including by NICTA would only be permissible through the court system.

PNG Post-Courier
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