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Gambia: telcos fined for SIM card irregulation

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Gambia , 30 Aug 2019

Gambia: telcos fined for SIM card irregulation

Gambia's telecom sector regulator, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has fined three mobile phone operators for failing to comply with SIM card registration law.

Africell, Gamcel, and Qcell have all been fined a total of US$115, 000 for reportedly selling SIM cards activated at the point of sale to subscribers without registering their identity details.

The operators were charged US$595 for each SIM card sold.

In a statement, PURA said Africell has been fined US$110, 700 as it sold the most SIM cards (186), while Qcell and Gamcel sold fewer cards.

Ya AmieTouray, legal, licensing and tnforcement manager at PURA said "We embarked on SIM cards registration monitoring exercise for all operators countrywide. We bought SIM cards without following going through the due process of registering our identity cards," Touray said.

Touray added that it was not the first time Africell and Gamcel had defaulted and fined, and there "was no change in the behaviour" of the operators.

ITWeb Africa contacted the three affected operators for comment, but received no response at the time of publishing.

Andrew Makanya, a telecom analyst at Computer Association of Zambia said the challenges facing PURA in enforcing SIM card registration regulation are similar to those facing the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) and many other African countries.

"We have a number of cases in Zambia of people still buying SIM cards from the streets and without identity cards. The best way to end this behaviour is to change the laws to include punishment for the buyers as well," he said.

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