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Five days left – and counting – for Etisalat users

The telecom provider has reportedly already cut 1.3 million mobile numbers, so chances are they're taking this seriously.

April 11, 2013 1:19 by

A couple of weeks ago, I received the dreaded SMS from Etisalat stating that if I wanted to ‘continue enjoying’ its mobile services, I’d have to pick myself up and make my way to any of its ‘Point of Sale’ outlets and re-register my number.

Obviously, as much as I was hoping I wouldn’t receive it, it didn’t shock me because I knew it would be my turn – eventually. But, like many others, I let human nature and the urge to procrastinate get the better of me. I still haven’t done it.

For those of us in third batch of Etisalat’s ‘My Number, My Identity’ campaign – we have less than five days before our Sim cards are permanently disconnected. The campaign – mandated by the UAE’s Telecommunications authority (TRA) – requires all users to ‘re-register’ their sim cards at an Etisalat branch.

The final deadline is April 16 and the UAE-based telecom provider has already cut 1.3 million mobile lines ‘since SMS notifications were sent out across its three phases, which started in 2012′. And they will continue to disconnect users who’ve received the notification and not registered.

Kippers, if any of you were planning to call their bluff, I suggest you don’t. This looks serious. Users can start the procedure online by filling out a digital form on – but you’d still have to complete the process at a physical outlet. Don’t even get Kipp started on how strange that sounds, but the company says it’s for the staff to authenticate our details, so they’re not giving us much to argue with.

What’s more, a reader pointed out to me that this ‘re-registration’ isn’t just a one-time thing. If you look at Etisalat’s website here, you’ll notice that it clearly states that ‘the registered and re-registered mobile numbers will stay active as long as the ID is valid. Once the ID expires, you have to re-register mobile numbers again’.

The campaign as a whole, according to the TRA,  is intended to ‘ultimately protect subscribers from misuse or confidentiality infringement’. The process, on average, should take approximately two to three minutes – but Kipp has been hearing a variety of mixed reviews involving ‘long queues’ and a thing or two about ‘slow staff’.

Oh well, we’ll be the judge of that. See you all out there, and just remember, Kipp doesn’t take too kindly to queue-jumpers.

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