In a move to address security issuesabout mobile telephony in the country,the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced that the sale of SIM cards on the streets will no longer be permitted from March 1, 2010.
The NCC also says that the operators have been directed to ensure that all currently active SIMs on their respective networks be registered. New SIMs will require registration before activation. Documents like I.D. cards and passport photographs will be required for subscriber registration.
Before the advent of GSM technology in Nigeria, all existing telecoms companies required subscriber registration. Since then, things have changed quite a bit, such that even lines on CDMA networks can now be purchased off the street by anyone without any identification whatsoever.
A serious result of this is that criminal elements find it easy to use mobile communications without a trace. Subscriber registration will certainly go a long way in curbing this.
Of course, subscriber registration and the barring of sale of SIMs on the streets also means that the networks will experience a slower rate of subscriber increase, but we are guessing here that this slower expansion will translate to better quality of service for existing subscribers.
The last few years have witnessed the mobile landscape being littered with promo after promo and huge traffic spikes during such promos. Hopefully, the mobile lottery jamboree will abate (if only a little) as well with this new policy from the NCC.
In all, Mobility Nigeria welcomes the new move to register mobile subscribers.