Major changes to SIM registration process from December

The Communications Authority of Maldives (CAM) has announced that it intends to stop issuing pre-activated SIMs from December.

CAM CEO Ilyas Ahmed told AVAS Monday that the registration process is not implemented adequately at the moment. The authority has decided to stop selling activated SIMs from December to address the increasing number of scam calls using unregistered SIMs, he said.

"We have established rules, but SIM sellers and resellers often do not follow the rules," he said.

Under the current rules, a registration form with the seller's information has to be sent to service providers within one month of SIM purchase.

"Nobody follows these rules now. SIM cards remain unregistered for months," he said.

Currently, the SIMs sold by DHIRAAGU and Ooredoo are activated SIM cards that can be used without registration. However, with the new rule, the SIMs issued from next December will be activated only after verifying the information and registering, Ilyas said. He further said the new registration system is designed to share information required for registration online.

"If you purchase a SIM but do not fill in the required information for registration, it is simply a plastic chip. You can use it only when you provide the information," he said.

In addition, DHIRAAGU and Ooredoo are working to fix a certain number of SIMs that each customer can buy to address the increase in scam calls, he said.

"We have not set a specific amount yet. But once these discussions are completed, a figure will be set within the next month," he said.

Ilyas said that when the work is completed, the SIMs will be checked for incomplete information and given the opportunity to provide the information. The service of such SIMs will be suspended until the information is completed.

"Such SIMs can be reused once the basic information required for registration is completed," he said.