Telecoms halt sale of new SIM cards following UCC directive

Telecoms halt sale of new SIM cards following UCC directive

Following a directive from Uganda Communications Commission to all telecom companies to stop the sale of new SIM Cards until UCC establishes API connectivity with National Identity verification, various telecoms have complied with the directive.

The commission directed that all companies should halt the sale of new SIM cards to the public until it establishes API connectivity with National Identification Registration Authority for National Identity verification exercises.

According to a statement by MTN Uganda, the company informs the public of new guidelines issued by Uganda Communications Commission with regard to selling of new Sim cards.

“MTN together with other Telecom companies have been advised to immediately cease the sale of new SIM cards through hawker street vendors, or any other sellers that are not licensed by Kampala capital authority or other Municipal Authorities,” read in parts.

Africell Uganda also halted their agents from selling SIM cards through vending and hawkers until the verification exercise by UCC is complete.  Africell has today Thursday Joined MTN to respond to UCC’s ban regarding the sale of lines.

“Following a directive from UCC [Uganda Communications Commission], we inform the public that sales/distribution of SIM cards has been halted until UCC establishes API connectivity with NIRA [National Identification Registration Authority] for National Identity verification,” Africell Uganda Twitted.

The directive requires telecoms to implement the necessary technical requirements to comply with UCC’s new guidelines on the sale of SIM Cards. Other telecom companies are yet to officially respond to the ban.

This means if you want a new telephone number or SIM card today, you will not get it until the ban is lifted.

However, the directive leaves one wondering what next for thousands of youth employed by telecom companies to sale SIM cards on streets.

Many youth have been working as sales agents for telecom companies by selling and registering new phone line, now that UCC has halted the activity, what is next for these Ugandans?

Yesterday, UCC also issued a one month ultimatum for all online content providers to register with the commission or disciplinary measures taken against them.


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