In a matter of seconds, the device can generate one’s biodata and authenticate it with a green light on its screen security features in the bar code (of ID), with the national ID pointed at the machine
KAMPALA - People who want to acquire SIM cards or replace lost ones are queuing at various telecom operator centres in large numbers.
Last week, the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) gave Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) machines for instant verification and registration.
UCC then handed over the 50 handheld machines to the telecom operators for use in verification, registration and replacement of sim cards.
Since UCC tightened SIM card registration requirements following a rise in the wave of crime committed using mobile phones, including kidnaps, people seeking to obtain sim cards or replace lost ones are subjected to a rather long process and have to wait for a week before being clearance to receive the cards.
The NIRA executive director, Judy Obitre-Gama, handed cellular phone-shaped machines to the UCC acting executive director, Fred Otunnu, at the authority's Kololo-based headquarters in Kampala on Friday.
He said the machine would ease the registration process.
"It is actually going to be instant registration. We are lending UCC these devices that it will pass on to the telecom operators for use in registration. People no longer have to come to NIRA for letters to telecom companies to get sim cards," Obitre-Gama said.
In a matter of seconds, the device can generate one's biodata and authenticate it with a green light on its screen security features in the bar code (of ID), with the national ID pointed at the machine.
The operator can then take the thumbprint of the card owner using the scanner on the device and match it against the one on the national ID.
If the two match, a green light will appear on the screen of the device, confirming that the person seeking to acquire a SIM card is the owner of the national ID.
"The features on the national ID are hard to forge. Once the machine has confirmed the authenticity of the ID and its holder, the operator will instantly process a SIM card for the applicant," Obitre-Gama added.
(Additional reporting by Pascal Kwesiga)