Save your UAE sim card before it flatlines
Two days remain for the first batch of SIM card holders to re-register but Kipp hears that there is no rush yet...
October 14, 2012 9:24 by M. Aldalou
The most wonderful time of this year has arrived. The time where residents of the United Arab Emirates, those who have been selected anyway, have to hop down to their nearest network provider outlets to re-register their SIM cards. The deadline for the first batch of customers is in two days, on October 16.
When word of the obligation to re-register was announced by Etisalat and subsequently, du, there were two concerns on the minds of residents. ‘For the love of all things holy, why is this necessary’, and ‘imagine the rush at outlets when the deadline is near’.
At the time being (except what the Telecom Regulatory Authority has already revealed) the need for this re-registration remains a mystery. However, according to the regulator, it is a campaign aimed at preventing and beating criminal use of SIM cards to a pulp, so in the long run, it is for the better good.
Mohammed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA chairman, said in July that the “The ‘My Number, My Identity’ campaign aims “to protect users and their interests to prevent them from falling prey to misuse of the numbers by others.”
On the other hand, Kipp is happy to report that according to telecom outlets, it is an easy and straight forward procedure and that so far, they aren’t experiencing any rush. A sales manager at an Etisalat outlet was quoted by KT saying that if re-registration is not completed, the number will be permanently cancelled. On the plus side, the network providers will be graciously providing us with a grace period of three months.
“Once you have received an SMS from your network provider, you can come in to re-register your SIM card. If the registration is not done, initially, all outgoing calls from your mobile will be barred,” he said.
For Etisalat, the initial deadline was until the end of the month, after which services of mobile phone users will be permanently disconnected. However, they soon after changed their scheme. “Etisalat has decided not to disconnect services of mobile phone users who fail to re-register their SIM cards within the first stage which covers 1.5 million subscribers,” said Saleh Al Abdouli, Etisalat’s CEO, quoted by Emirates24|7.
“But we will have later to halt the service in case users repeatedly fail to register and do not heed Etisalat’s recurrent warnings and notifications.”
In the entire landscape of things, the timeframe of registration for all users in the UAE is stretched out to a period of approximately 18 months. While many of us might groan and grunt at the need to re-register at all, we can complain at the flexibility of the timeframe. The TRA has divided the process into six stages to ensure that all users have ‘successfully completed their registration’.
Kippers, for once, let’s not have another National ID situation on our hands.