Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) is cautious so as not to take full responsibility for the ongoing mandatory SIM registration process.

In response to questions of Omutumwa, CRAN’s communication and consumer relations manager Mrs. Katrina Sikeni said the following:

Omutumwa: The Namibian nation is expected to undergo an exercise known as “SIM card registration” which is said to end by the end of 2023, and therefore those who will have not registered their SIMs by then will lose their rights to be users of those cards.

Taking into account the fact that this exercise (of SIM registration) is momentous and will have serious implications on the lives of those people who will have failed to register their SIMs, did CRAN therefore go to great lengths to ensure that such message is thoroughly communicated to the people, so that those who will have failed to accede to the calls will have no excuse whatsoever?

Katrina Sikeni: Kindly note that SIM card registration is conducted in terms of the Regulations in terms of Part 6 of Chapter V of the Communications Act (No. 8 of 2009) and the Conditions as published in General Notice No. 180, in Government Gazette No. 7797, dated 28 April 2022.

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) hosted a nationwide consumer awareness campaign which commenced in June 2022 and ended in December 2022.

Omutumwa: If such exercise has been done, can you explain the way in which it was done?

Sikeni: The highly successful campaign incorporated various public relations, marketing and advertising initiatives and utilised platforms and communications tools such as social media, television, print, radio and roadshows to the regions to disseminate key messages translated into various local languages to ensure inclusivity and reach.

Moreover, CRAN urges all new and existing customers to register their SIM card/s to enjoy the benefits of ICT products and services.

Omutumwa: CRAN, as the one with overall responsibility to ensure compliance, will also take full responsibility for failure of non-compliance if proper communication of the SIM registration exercise did not take place.

Is CRAN therefore in serious communication with service providers to ensure that they will have done their responsibility to the satisfaction of all come the end of 2023?

Sikeni: CRAN is of the view that it has proactively, widely, and successfully communicated the SIM Registration process throughout the country. All SIM card holders have an obligation to register their SIM cards on or before 31 December 2023, non-compliance will result in the termination of SIM cards.

Omutumwa: Some service providers have an excuse of not having enough resources to carry out the necessary communication campaigns to reach the masses with the message. What is your view on this?

Sikeni: Telecommunication service providers commenced with mandatory SIM Car Registration on 01 January 2023 and the Authority is pleased with the progress made so far. The actual registration of SIM cards is a process undertaken by the mobile operators therefore, the mobile operators are solely responsible for the process and are best placed to respond to your question on issues of resources in terms of convenience for their customers.

CRAN established a Regulatory SIM Registration Committee consisting of all licensees that offer SIM card services in the country that meets on a quarterly basis to report on progress made and challenges experienced in relation to the SIM card registration process in the country.

In the photo: CRAN’s communication and consumer relations manager Mrs. Katrina Sikeni.