Just 33% of SIM cards registered in Namibia

20 November 2023

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has reported that 924,000 SIM cards have been registered under the telecoms subscriber identification campaign, as of 30 September, 2023. This represents 33% of the 2.7 million SIM cards active on all networks of telecom operators operating in the country.

CRAN spokesperson Katrina Sikeni said that MTC had registered 799,797 SIM cards out of 2.35 million. Telecom Namibia Limited registered 117,585 SIM cards out of 429,732. Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd customers registered 5,152 SIM cards out of 5437. UCOM Mobile Namibia (Pty) Ltd registered all of its 1,113 active subscribers.

The campaign to identify Namibian telecom subscribers was launched on 1 January and is due to end on 31 December. As of June 15, only 795,991 SIM cards (29% of the total number) had been registered. The low registration rate observed so far can be attributed to the resistance of local authorities to make registration points available, to power outages in remote areas, to the absence of a system for registering SIM cards in rural areas and slow adoption by customers.

From January 1 2024 CRAN will deactivate unregistered SIM cards, preventing their owners from using communications services. New subscribers are required to register their SIM cards at most three after purchase to avoid deactivation.

“If the suspension period expires without registration, the mobile service provider will cancel the service and number. The customer will then have to purchase and register a new SIM card, which will cause them to lose their old mobile phone number,” said Sikeni.