Over 11 million Sim Cards Validated - UCC

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In short
Uganda has more than 22 million mobile telephone subscribers, according to a recent study by Uganda Communications Commission. Majority of them are split between MTN and Airtel Uganda.

Over 11 million Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) Cards have been validated over the last six days as Ugandans rushed to beat the initial deadline set by the Uganda Commissions Communications.

The directive, issued last week, seeks to synchronize information in the National   data bank, with mobile phone subscription in the country. The validation can be done online by pressing *197#. However, only persons with National Identification Numbers etched on their National Identity cards are able to have their simcards validated within the specified period. The number 14-digit number is unique for every individual.

UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi had initially announced that all simcards that would not be validated by tomorrow April 20 were to be deactivated. He said the process will be used to eliminate all non-registered, partially registered, pre-activated SIM Cards and multiple registrations of simcards by an individual.

Uganda has more than 22 million mobile telephone subscribers, according to a recent study by Uganda Communications Commission. Majority of them are split between MTN and Airtel Uganda.

Fred Otunnu, UCC's Cooperate affairs Director says that of these, only 11 million sim cards have been validated, representing almost 50 percent of the total subscription in the country. Otunnu was speaking to journalists shortly after a meeting with the Human rights committee of parliament.

His comments came shortly before the validation exercise was extended to May 19 following a directive by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda. Earlier, millions of Ugandans were lining up at district offices across the country in an effort to secure national IDs that had not been collected. According to more than 1.5 million Identity Cards had not been collected.

Otunnu however appealed to citizens who have not verified their registration status using their national ID to do so as Government will not accept unverified Sim cards.
 
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Otunnu was appearing before the committee on human rights to answer on issues of broadcast of adult content, but was tasked by committee members to explain why UCC was limiting the time for validation of sim cards.
 
Otunnu stated that Ugandans had on several occasions failed to honor deadlines specially those issued over lengthy periods.    

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.