About 50% register sim cards

Over three million mobile phone users risk being cut out of mobile phone service as the country’s mobile phone operators have only registered over 50 percent of the sim cards in the country ahead of the September 30  2018 deadline.

The sim card registration exercise started in February this year and is expected to end in September, after which those not registered will have their sim cards blocked.

Flashback: Sim registration in Blantyre

In an interview with The Nation, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) communications manager Clara Mwafulirwa said so far, the country’s leading mobile phone operators have registered 3.5 million subscribers out of 7.3 million sim cards in use.

She said as of August 21 2018, TNM had registered 1.9 million subscribers while Airtel had 1.6 million registered customers which she said was not good enough.

Said Mwafulirwa: “This is worrying because customers will be cut off from accessing the services come the deadline. We are, therefore ,reminding them to register considering that we are in the final month.”

She also said there are some customers who attempted to register but did not succeed due to the technical problems.

Mwafulirwa: It is worrisome

Meanwhile, Mwafulirwa said the authority has made progress in the pilot phase of the National Addressing System project which has covered about 90 percent of residential areas in the pilot phase.

“We have completed almost 90 percent of the pilot phase which involved five locations in Blantyre City where we have given numbers to houses and naming streets. If you go to Chinyonga and Namiwawa today you will see street signs and house numbers,” she said.

Mwafulirwa said Macra has since started rolling out the project across the country starting with Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu cities.

Currently, Malawi does not have an address system that identifies a person by street, building and house number, thereby compromising provision of various services like fire, police and ambulance.

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