TCRA: NIN-based sim cards not valid

22Jan 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
TCRA: NIN-based sim cards not valid

THE Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has said people who registered their mobile phone lines using the national identity card before the fingerprint element was introduced will have to redo the process.

TCRA Director General James Kilaba

This clarification has come after it emerged that many people knew they were safe because they produced photocopies of their national ID to service providers while registering their numbers.

TCRA has said it has already switched off 656,091 subscribers from mobile phone services for failure to register their SIM cards biometrically.

The regulator is set to turn off more lines in phases depending on the category of mobile phone user.

Speaking to a local radio station yesterday, TCRA Director General James Kilaba said that in the second phase 318, 950 subscribers risk being blocked from telecommunication services.

Kilaba said the first group of subscribers, whose lines were switched off at around 10pm possess voter registration cards but they haven’t registered.

The second group of those who were blocked registered their lines by using their national identification cards before the biometric registration exercise was rolled out.

“We are switching off the lines which haven’t been biometrically registered in phases due to technicalities…you can’t just switch off 10 million subscribers at once,” said Kilaba.

Mobile phone subscribers who registered their lines before the start of the biometric registration exercise ought to start the process afresh, a top TCRA official underlined.

TCRA communication manager Fredrick Ntobi said that since it is imperative for subscribers to register their lines biometrically those who have initially registered by using NIN national IDs must do so.

Kilaba said the regulator will continue to remind concerned subscribers of the importance of registering their SIM cards biometrically through SMS even if their lines are blocked. 

The remarks came as queues continued to prolong in various registration centres as people scrambled to have their lines registered biometrically lest they go without the crucial communication tool.

The entirety of last week was hectic as people struggled to get national ID numbers from the National Identification Authority (NIDA) to register their lines before the January 20 deadline.