Telecom customers seeking to replace sim cards will now take 5 days off air pending verification of their National Identity Card records by National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA). The new guideline means that even if a telecom subscriber is in possession of the National ID, for any telecom company to issue a Sim Card replacement, such a person must show verification evidence from NIRA in order to establish whether the phone number is registered or not.
On top of National Identity Card, a subscriber will have to fill a replacement form at NIRA offices, pay UG Shs 1000 for verification and then wait for days to get a nod to commence with SIM card renewal at various Telecom centres.
However, currently the NIRA verification link is not operational, which has left many subscribers who lost sim cards and phones to petty thieves offline.
Telecom companies have fixed the SIM replacement fee at Shs. 2000. To ensure that such subscribers get back online, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi, has directed telecom companies to ease the Sim card replacement process.
“Telecom operators received instructions to enable consumers replace SIM cards within the term as the verification link to NIRA is finalised. Failure to respond to customers meeting the requirements amounts to failure to comply with the commission’s directives,” Mutabazi said in a communication to telecom companies on Thursday last week.
On top of acquiring Police report, UCC last month released a new set of stringent steps for telecom subscribers to acquire new sim cards.
With letters from UCC and NIRA verifying your telephone number registration and National ID verification, the subscribers are required to be re-registered by respective telecom operator, capturing their finger prints and photograph and matching these against the National ID database.
Additionally, the operator will be required to ensure that the subscriber will use the card in a type of approved original phone.