Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) has ordered the country’s mobile operators to temporarily block calls and data services for unregistered SIM cards as part of its registration drive.
The calling ban was imposed yesterday (5th September) for a sequentially-selected tranche of unregistered or partially registered SIM cards. The selected SIMs will be blocked from making calls or using data on AirtelTigo, Glo Mobile, MTN and Vodafone’s networks for 48 hours before the ban rotates to a new batch of SIMs.
The regulator has confirmed that any mobile and data-only SIM cards that are not fully registered by 30th September will be blocked on a permanent basis. However, the SIM holder will have a further six months to complete the registration process and regain access to services; if they fail to do so, the number will be churned. CommsUpdate reports that other measures include an automated awareness message playing if unregistered subscribers attempt to make outgoing calls.
The first stage of registration is for the user to link their SIM to their newly implemented ID known as their Ghana Card. The NCA’s registration app is then able to collect biometric data from the SIM user. To encourage Ghanaians living overseas to register sooner, they may instead use their passport to complete the registration process up until 31st December 2022, after which they will also be required to use the new Ghana Card system.