Controlling the misuse of phone SIM cards – Dubai Campaign
A Subscriber Identity Module or Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) is a small portable chip used in mobile phones that operate on the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSMI) network. There is lots of data saved in these SIM’s which range from professional to personal information of the account holder, including his or her phone number, address book, text messages and other data. SIM is a removable card- it is easy to use if someone wants to remove the card from one handset, and insert it into another. SIM cards are convenient and popular with many users, and are a significant technological development for mobile phones.
Though SIM cards have its own advantage of being used with multiple phones with just one account, a probable benefit of saving all your information, both personal and professional that is easy to access, and download your contact information on the chip itself, there are many disadvantages too. One of the major drawbacks of using the SIM card is that if you forget to lock your phone, anyone with a GSM phone can steal your contacts by simply placing your SIM card in their phone and selecting “copy all to phone.” What makes this even worse is that you cannot catch them in this act- there is no way you could find out that all your information has been stolen, and this is exactly what has happened with some of the mobile users who reside in Dubai, and they have suffered huge losses.
Dubai Campaign to Curb the Misuse of Phone SIM cards
Now finally on 11 July, 2012, I came across an article that finally made me relieved! I read about how a campaign that started in Dubai recently can actually diminish all your worries and fears of using a SIM card. The article stated that UAE mobile subscribers can keep as many phone numbers as they need, but they should solely be responsible for all the numbers and bear all the consequences incase if any of the number was misused. A campaign with the name “My Number, My Identity” was launched by Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) as teamwork between two licenses- Etisalat and Du- to increase the awareness on the new registration procedures, which aim towards re-registration of mobile phone services as provided by the licenses.
Due to heavy rise in civil and criminal cases because of misusing mobile numbers by giving away SIM cards to others, has pushed TRA to take such an initiative in order to protect mobile users from fraud, bad debt, and to prevent the use of misusing mobile numbers and subscriber’s rights.
Seeing the case of SIM card issues within UAE itself and in general too, we find that nowadays mobile phones are no longer just a technological device for communication that is to make calls, and sending or receiving messages. Now users can log onto the internet, send e-mails and participate in other services which are available under Etisalat or Du user subscription packages. The extended use of these mobile phones is a growing reason of mobile misuse.
Quick facts about the campaign
- Type of procedures in the new registration phase
The registration requirements include the registration of information and documentation, verifications, mobile subscriber’s registration (separate for individuals, companies, governmental companies, visitors), service activation, registration renewals, mobile subscribers subscription transfer, customer service, registration records, security and confidentiality, accuracy and compliance. The above information will therefore protect the user’s SIM card
- Maximum number of SIM cards allowed per subscriber in the UAE
Users can have unlimited number of SIM cards, but they should use and protect them with complete responsibility. They should protect for privacy and not give to any other users to avoid misuse. If this happens, the registered owner of the number will be legally and financially accountable
- Procedures for registered SIM. Will I have to cancel it when I am moving away from the UAE, or if I am not longer going to use it?
Mobile subscription can be cancelled if users are not going to use the SIM anymore or if they are leaving the country. However, with the TRA, the new campaign has introduced various procedures to allow the process of transferring the SIM cards from the actual owners to the actual users. This will help protect the actual owner of the number from any problems that may occur because of misusing these numbers besides allowing the actual user to benefit from the wide range of services provided which allows connectivity through mobile phones
- SIM card expiry date. Do they have one?
The SIM card has no expiry date unless there is a need to upgrade the card itself. It is a lifetime card. But this is in control of the service providers
- Can my family members use a SIM registered under my name?
The user should make sure that if they are passing their SIM to someone in the family, they should not be the next fraudster of their SIM. The user should very well know how to protect their mobile phones from being misused
- Is the registration required for both pre-paid and post-paid SIM cards?
All mobile subscribers in the UAE will be given 18 months for the new registration. This will protect their rights and privacy. Though the campaign is run by TRA, the stages involved with pre-paid and post-paid depend heavily on the service providers as they are liable to inform their customers and make necessary provisions for the re-registration or the new registrations as required. The entire campaign will last for 18 months.
- What happens if I do not register by deadline?
The mobile subscription would get disconnected and will not be activated until the actual owner of the SIM card submits the necessary documents to complete the registration. The number will be under the service provider’s decision
- Do I have to pay for re-registering my existing SIM card?
The new re-registering is free to all subscribers
- If I get a new mobile phone and a free SIM card with it, will that card be registered by the company or do I need to do it?
All SIM cards will be registered and users are requested to provide personal documents, passport and National ID to complete the registration.
For more information, CLICK HERE and keep yourself updated about the campaign.