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Monday, March 4, 2024

Thinktank to regulators: Speed up SIM listup

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An infrastructure-oriented thinktank on Wednesday called on the National Telecommunications Commission and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to ensure that telecommunications firms will not undertake shortcuts to increase their registration numbers before the April 2023 deadline.

Former legislator and Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon also lamented the current slow progress of SIM card registration in the country and appealed to the NTC and the DICT to address the concerns.

“With a little over a month since the start of the registration process last 27 December 2023, the percentage of registered SIMs remains low, with the country’s three mobile telecommunications companies managing to register only an average of 17.38 percent (DITO: 17.50 percent, Globe: 13.60 percent and PLDT: 22.26 percent) out of a total number of subscribers of 168.9 million as of 5 February 2023,” Ridon said.

Ridon said that the current registration pace is a cause for concern. “If this pace of registration continues until the April 2023 deadline, registered SIMs will only be a little more than 69.52 percentof the total number of subscribers in the Philippines. In other words, this means the removal of at least 51.5 million subscribers by the April 2023 deadline.” 

Ridon meanwhile said telcos may push to relax registration procedures to raise their registration numbers.

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“Telcos may push for changes in the current implementing rules and regulations to allow shortcuts or relaxed registration procedures to accelerate the registration of subscribers but at the cost of lowering the credibility of information provided by the telcos and the accuracy of the subscriber information provided. Any compromise in these procedures will ultimately defeat the purpose of SIM card registration.”

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