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SIM card replacement restricted to regional level

By Andrew Ssenyonga

Added 20th April 2018 07:25 AM

The exercise is now restricted to regional centres due to the limited number of national ID verification and biometric systems.

SIM card replacement restricted to regional level

The exercise is now restricted to regional centres due to the limited number of national ID verification and biometric systems.

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While street vendors and regular outlets were banned from selling and registering new SIM cards,purchase and replacement of old ones can only be executed at licensed telecom premises.

The exercise is now restricted to regional centres due to the limited number of national ID verification and biometric systems.

According to a statement from local telecom companies MTN and Airtel, the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has provided 50 biometric card readers to the companies.

The card readers are now used in 50 SIM card registration centres across the country.

These include Ntinda head offices, Kampala Road and Forest Mall in Kampala.

Residents in northern Uganda will have to travel to Gulu while western region will receive services at Mbarara and Fort Portal.

Eastern region will access it from Jinja and Mbale.

Barbara Muhindo, a resident of Kasese, noted that it is a disservice for one to spend transport that is far more than the service fees.

"So, you spend sh10,000 from Kasese to Fort Portal to replace a SIM card, from Kisoro to Mbarara for the same and then another amount to return home?" she wondered.

According to Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the biometric card reader is to ensure real-time, accurate verification and validation of SIM card registration information by NIRA.

"However, to mitigate the exceptional circumstances being experienced after imposition of the ban, UCC has instituted interim measures under which SIM cards can now be swapped and/or replaced," UCC spokesperson Pamela Ankunda said.

The process of replacing SIM cards has been restricted to possession of a national identity card as well as a letter from Police confirming loss of the initial SIM card.

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