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Telecom operators resume SIM card replacement service

By Taddeo Bwambale

Added 19th April 2018 03:34 PM

UCC ordered each of the telecom companies to acquire digital card readers for instant verification of customers’ details against the national identity card database.

Simcard 703x422

UCC ordered each of the telecom companies to acquire digital card readers for instant verification of customers’ details against the national identity card database.

COMMUNICATIONS

Telecommunication companies have resumed sim card replacement services at selected outlets, offering reprieve to subscribers left stranded since the exercise was suspended last month.

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) halted the issuance of new mobile phone sim cards until the telecom companies are able to instantly verify their customers’ national identity details.

UCC ordered each of the telecom companies to acquire digital card readers for instant verification of customers’ details against the national identity card database.

The telecom regulator had also initially issued stringent measures to follow before the phone users can acquire or replace sim cards, some of which have since been reviewed.

After weeks of discussions between several government agencies and telecom operators, have this week reinstated sim card replacement services.

MTN, the largest mobile telecom company in Uganda announced that it had restored the sim card replacement service at selected outlets.

“SIM Card replacement is now available, at the select MTN service centers listed below which are equipped with the National ID verification & Bio-metric systems,” the company stated on Twitter.

Anyone seeking to replace their sim card will need to carry an original national identity card (for Ugandans) or a passport for foreigners, as well as a letter from Police.

Airtel Uganda stated in a Tweet on Wednesday: “SIM Card replacement is now available at the select Airtel Service Centres listed below. These have been equipped with the National ID verification and biometric systems.”

Replacement of MTN sim cards in Kampala is done at Shoprite Clock Tower (Ben Kiwanuka Street), Shoprite Lugogo Mall (Kyagwe Road) and Mukwano Mall (Kampala Road).

The service is also available at regional centres in Mbarara, Fort Portal, Jinja, Gulu, Arua and Masindi, MTN says.

For Airtel customers in Kampala, sim card replacement is underway at Ntinda shop (opposite the mosque), head office (clement Hill), Jinja Road-opposite KCB and at Forest Mall-Lugogo By-pass.

At regional level, the service is available to subscribers in three districts of Gulu, Mbarara and Mbale, Airtel says.

Long queues of subscribers were visible at several outlets as phone users rushed to acquire or replace their sim cards after a month of waiting.

The suspension of the service was linked to a wave of crime including kidnaps for ransom, in which criminals were found to have used sim cards under false identity.

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