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Unverified SIM cards will be suspended [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
[January 14, 2013]

Unverified SIM cards will be suspended [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]

(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dubai Beginning tomorrow, UAE mobile subscribers who have failed to update their personal data with etisalat and du will be cut off, a top official at the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) told Gulf News.

If you have received an SMS warning you to register your mobile and you've ignored it, beware.

"It is a regulation that should be abided by all subscribers who got an SMS from one of the UAE official operators to re-register their personal information during an assigned period," Majid Al Mesmar, Deputy Director General of TRA, said: "Those who failed to update their personal data for either etisalat or du will lose their mobile connection starting on January 16 until they would be able to complete the re-registration process." But if you haven't received an SMS so far, you needn't worry your turn will come in the coming months.

But if you fail to update your information within the specified period following the SMS, your SIM card could be cancelled.

"To register the personal information, etisalat and du subscribers should visit any of their outlets, offices or service centres across the Emirates and submit original copies of their personal documents for authentication," he said.

Etisalat has 105 registration points across the UAE, while du has 46.

There are more than 13 million mobile phones in use in the UAE and the TRA has launched its ‘My Number, My Identity' campaign in June to stamp out mobile phone fraud and tighten security.

By the end of this year, all of the mobile phones in the UAE should be registered. After that, registered owners of the SIMs will have to bear any consequences for misuse of the cards issued in their names.

The increase in civil and criminal cases due to misuse of mobile numbers has pushed TRA to enforce such procedures to help protect the mobile subscribers' rights and prevent risks of misuse, Al Mesmar said.

"Until today, we are still receiving complaints from customers that result in legal and financial issues between the actual owner and the actual user of the SIM cards," he said.

Du is granting a grace period of three months to customers who did not re-register their SIM cards by the end of tomorrow. After that, the SIM will be suspended if they failed to do so.

Etisalat did not respond to Gulf News queries yesterday.

Du said it has divided its more than six million mobile subscribers into six or seven batches.

"The deadline is applicable only to the first two batches and others need not worry," said du's Yasser Al Yousuf, director for its premium personal market Around two million subscribers are in the first two batches, and du said around three million customers have re-registered their details. Du subscribers can voluntarily proceed to re-register their numbers at the call centre, and those who did will receive a confirmation message thanking them for registering.

"The next batch will have three months to re-register their cards and the date for the next batch will be decided by the TRA," he said.

While both of the UAE telecom service providers say they have frequently clarified how the registration process works step by step, a lot of customers say they are still unaware about what to do.

Mukhtar Ullar, asked for advice and further explanation about the registrations process. He said that he has to register his SIM card and his wife's but don't know much about the procedures.

Osama Mahmood said the registration process hasn't worked as expected.

"I've submitted the form for re-registration of etisalat SIM cards, but still no confirmation message has been received for some numbers," he told Gulf News. "Three times I went to the etisalat branch and said that I still had no confirmation SMS. They told me not to worry, the number will be re-registered. I've even asked if I have to resubmit, they said ‘No.' Now I am afraid I'll lose some of my numbers even though I have re-registered those." (c) 2012 Al Nisr Publishing LLC . All rights reserved. Provided by an company

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