By Daniel Shane
Mobile phone customers now have until 17 January to re-register their numbers
UAE telecommunications provider du says it has extended by three months a deadline requiring all of its mobile phone customers to re-register their SIM cards following a decision by the sector’s regulator and a similar move by rival operator Etisalat.
In a statement issued by the Gulf state’s second largest operator on Wednesday, du said that mobile users now had until 17 January 2013 to register their SIMs. The telco had said as recently as Monday that it would begin disconnecting mobile users that had not registered their SIMs by 16 October.
The UAE’s largest operator Etisalat also pushed back its original 16 October deadline on re-registering SIMs, although it did not give a new timeframe on when customers had to do this by.
The decision by both to extend the cut off point on the initiative, dubbed ‘My Number, My Identity’, comes after sector watchdog the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said that both du and Etisalat “were unable to provide smooth mechanisms to facilitate, accelerate and stimulate subscribers to update their data”.
The requirement for mobile phone customers to re-register their SIM cards is the federal government’s attempt to prevent identity fraud as a result of phone numbers being passed between users.
Users can register their SIM cards by taking their passport or national ID to du or Etisalat registration points. Operator Etisalat has 105 registration points across the UAE while du has 46.