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Guinea announces May deadline for subscriber identification

Guinea , 31 Mar 2021

From 2 May 2021, telecommunications subscribers in Guinea whose numbers cannot be officially identified will not be able to access networks and services, according to the country’s Regulatory Authority for Posts and Telecommunications (ARPT).

Citing current economic and security issues, the regulator said it is ready to implement the provisions of the country’s 2015 telecommunications law on subscriber identification.

ARPT Director General Yacouba Cissé said: “The objective of the exercise is to clean up our database. It will also allow us to completely eradicate network fraud and insecurity of the population, while also prohibiting identity theft to do harm.”

To ensure compliance, ARPT announced that operators will be required to pay a penalty of ten million Guinean francs (about US$1,000) for any number or internet service that is activated without proper subscriber identification.

In a circular, the regulator said its action is in line with international telecommunications standards and is justified by emerging terrorism threats in Africa, especially in neighbouring Mali.

“It supports article 36 paragraph 2 of law L/2015/018/AN of 13 August 2015 relating to telecommunications and information technologies which stipulates that operators of telecommunications networks or services open to the public are obliged to systematically identify their subscribers,” the regulator stated..

Authorities assert that the identification of telecommunications subscribers will also strengthen mobile financial service delivery and support the development of e-commerce.

According to the regulator, from 1 January to 31 December 2020, the Guinean mobile telephony market recorded 14.411 million subscribers distributed among the three operators — Orange Guinea, MTN Guinea and CELLCOM.

The number of subscribers between 2019 and 2020 increased by 11.6%. Orange Guinea dominates in terms of total income and in 2020 represented 72.3% of total mobile phone income in 2020, followed by MTN with 21.3 % and CELLCOM with 6.4 %.

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