Major mobile phone service providers in Uganda have responded to tough new rules targeting criminal use of unregistered SIM cards by halting sales.
The telecomms companies have also been ordered to recall “all SIM cards held in stock by street vendors, agents and hawkers”.
Under the new rules, Uganda’s Communications Commission says, mobile phone service providers will have to “validate national identification information” for its customers which will then be “verified against the national database”.
Both MTN and Airtel – the biggest of Uganda’s eight mobile service providers – have tweeted the news to their customers:
Uganda’s minister of information and communications technology told reporters on Thursday that unregistered SIM card were sometimes used by criminals to hide their identities.