Namibia’s SIM registration faces major challenges

21 September 2023

The campaign to register SIM cards for Namibian mobile phone subscribers is facing significant challenges which are slowing down the process with just a few months to go.

According to data released by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), only 795,991 SIM cards had been registered as of 15 June, a registration rate of 29%.

According CRAN, challenges facing telecom operators include resistance from local authorities to allow the establishment of registration points; power outages in remote areas that interrupt the automated check-in process; lack of customer interest in SIM card registration; the provision of inaccurate information by customers; and non-possession by subscribers of identity documents or proof of residence.

The Namibian authorities launched the SIM card registration campaign on 1 January, which is planned to last 12 months. After this period, the regulator will deactivate unregistered SIM cards, preventing their owners from using communications services.

This initiative is in line with the Communications Act published by the government in March 2021. Ultimately, it will make it possible to combat cybercrime in Namibia and improve the effective regulation of the national technological landscape.