Got SMS from Etisalat? Register your SIM card now

A follow up to yesterday’s post regarding registration of SIM cards to the owner’s name (My number, my identity campaign): mobile service provider Etisalat announced they will cancel unverified SIM cards.

They have sent out SMS notices to 1.5 million users kindly asking them to update their personal data within three months, otherwise they will be eligible to lose their SIM cards. If the subscribers fail to update the information within the specified period following the SMSs, the SIM card will be suspended and after another three months the number will be cancelled as well.

So, if you’re with Etisalat, check if you have received that important SMS and if you did, register when you can and don’t wait when your three months is up. I can only imagine the deluge of subscribers rushing to the sales offices to register. I hope Etisalat can well cope with the rush. The rush with the Emirates ID applications was nightmare enough.

My number, my identity

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority launched the My Number, My Identity campaign in June this year, calling out subscribers to register the SIM card they are using to their names to ensure that the owner of a SIM-Card is responsible for the manner in which it is used (and for the costs and charges associated with it).

Background info: Whenever we buy a SIM card to be used here, we need to submit identification documents, usually in the form of passport copy.

Back in the days when a SIM cards was expensive (I bought mine at AED165 or US$45 in 2007 now you can buy as low as AED40), I know so many people leaving Dubai just giving away their SIM cards for  other friends/family members to use.

Now, those SIM cards need to be registered to the name of the current user for a small fee. Registration can be done by visiting any mobile service provider Du or Etisalat sales offices and bringing an identification papers (Passport or Emirates ID).

I admit, at first, I thought: what a hassle! but the initiative makes sense.

According to the TRA website:

Sharing or giving away your SIM-Card to others can cause unwanted consequences, including being held accountable for any improper conduct or misuse associated with the mobile phone subscription by the authorities.

Just out of curiosity, I wonder: how many other countries are doing something like this?

More important question: Are you a UAE resident and have you already registered your SIM card to your name?

Switching to Etisalat Postpaid

One of my least favorite moments living in Dubai is being caught off guard without credit left on my cellphone.

When I arrived in Dubai and learned that I need to buy telephone cards in denominations of 25, 50, 100 dhs, etc and load my mobile phone with it every time (prepaid style is the norm here), I almost freaked out. I’ve lived in Japan for more than 10 years prior to my move in Dubai and the mobile service I used there was postpaid, meaning, I can use my phone anytime:

  • without the fear of using up all my credit in the middle of a very important phone call
  • without getting frustrated when I try to make a phone call and find out I do not have any credit left

Having to check my mobile credit and load it consistently is inconvenient.

Of course, there was an option to go prepaid with the mobile provider Etisalat but the process before was tedious and running cost, expensive — until recently when they announced a promo (until September 30, 2010 so hurry!) that made me decide to shift! Switching to Etisalat prepaid account is free, lets me keep my existing number, and I get 20 dhs of free credit every month for 12 months! The phone bill comes twice a month, payable at any Etisalat customer service counters and offices.

The liberty IS nice. No more interrupted phone calls, no more panic looking for stores selling telephone cards. Happy. 🙂

While it is very convenient and Etisalat promises bigger savings and discounts on monthly bills, it is very EASY to go overboard. Those small (unnecessary) chats and SMS’s could pile up. I normally have a budget of 100 dhs/month for my mobile bill but sadly, as of end of August, it was 120 dhs.

So I was 20% off my budget. Need to get a grip next month!

What do you use, postpaid or prepaid?

You can check out the Etisalat website for more details regarding the postpaid mobile. This post is NOT sponsored by Etisalat. 🙂