Phone Companies Pushed Harder To Register SIM Cards

Smart, Cellcard and Metfone SIM cards are displayed at a mobile phone shop near Phnom Penh’s Kandal market. DAN RILEY

Mobile phone operators will be hit by fines, suspension or even closure if they fail to register the identities of all of their users in the next two weeks, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned on Tuesday.

“By the middle of November, the Ministry will create a working group, including ministry officials and national police, to visit all companies and review whether they’ve followed our proclamation,” stated Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia spokesman Im Vuthy.

The Ministry’s proclamation was released early last month, requiring the six mobile operators in Cambodia to have all SIM cards registered with copies of identity cards of users by the start of November. Companies were also asked to deactivate unregistered SIM cards.

Yesterday’s deadline appears to have been relaxed, though, and it remains unclear as to whether the Ministry will actually go ahead with punishments for non-compliance by mid-November.

Chhay Sinarith, deputy national police commander in charge of internal security, noted that unregistered SIM cards are used for fraud and to make threats over the phone.

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