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All mobile phone users in the UAE are asked to re-register and verify their identity with their service providers, to avoid cancellation of their Sim cards.
July 1, 2012 1:50 by Priyanka Pradhan
Just when we thought the Emirates ID deadline drama was over, here comes a double whammy from the UAE administration. The Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced that all mobile phone users of Du and Etisalat in UAE, will have to re- register their numbers with their identification documents. The move is aimed at cracking down on fraudulent and criminal use of handsets in the country.
This new campaign titled, ‘My number, my identification’ is bound to be met with more rolling eyes than news of the latest celebrity divorce in Hollywood. The name of the campaign itself can only be the work of a creative genius, since the title suggests that residents of the country are keen to tie their identity to their phone numbers.
While the security concern is valid, considering that miscreants have been passing on their registered Sim cards on to other un-registered users, there has to be a less painful way to verify identity. Asking the entire country to queue up at Du and Etisalat centers and physically hand in the documents after filling out an application form for re-registration, is a bit of a stretch. The identification details can easily be verified over the phone, with support from call centers of Du and Etisalat or even online, via their respective websites.
Etisalat is the first to react, announcing that from July 17 onwards, subscribers will be able to visit one of 100 outlets and points of sale across the country to re-register their details. Du, on the other hand has not even confirmed its registration process yet. No deadline has been determined for the process yet, though the TRA has announced that all unregistered or unverified Sim cards will be cancelled once the registration period expires.
The list of documents required for re-registration includes Emirates ID cards and residency visas, apart from the passport copies, which were already submitted at the time of purchase of Sim card.
Kipp wonders how a one-time verification will help curb the misuse of Sim cards. Afterall, if the miscreants are to be caught, it will require regular verification of identity from subscribers. If this is how the administration hopes to nab the culprits, it sure looks like a very long queue ahead for UAE residents.