In instructions sent to mobile phone operators on Tuesday, the telecom regulator said they would disable any excess SIMs still active after the deadline, at their discretion.
The notice warned that essential SIMs could be disabled if the situation arose.
On Jun 20, 2016 the BTRC set a legal limit of 20 SIMs per user. Last August it revised the decision and set the maximum number of SIMs per user at five. The decision was revised again, and on Aug 24, the BTRC set the new limit at 15 per user.
According to the BTRC notice issued on Tuesday, it will be illegal for any user to have over 15 SIMs. All users with excess SIMs will have to contact their mobile operator’s customer care service and arrange for them to be disabled.
The notice states that if any user has any excess SIMs after Dec 31, the matter will be discussed by the BTRC before it decides which shall be disabled.
It is possible to learn the number of SIMs registered to a person in a two-step process using the customer’s passport, National ID, driving licence or birth date.
>>Users can check how many SIMs are registered to them by dialling *16001# and entering the last four digits of their NID number when asked through the USSD code. Once they hit send, they will receive an SMS response containing the relevant information.
>>Users can also send the last four digits of their NID number by SMS to 16001. A reply SMS will then be sent to the user stating the number of SIMs registered to the NID.
The BTRC says it is not realistic to set a SIM limit for corporate users. Any approved point of contact buying SIMs or RIMs on behalf of an institution will not face these restrictions.