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 forĀ  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?