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Regulatory Compliance: Telecom Namibia Deactivates Prepaid SIMs

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In a decisive move that has reverberated throughout the telecommunications industry, Telecom Namibia has deactivated nearly half of its prepaid subscribers. This drastic action, affecting 191,598 unregistered prepaid Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, was taken to comply with the new SIM card registration regulations set forth by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN).

Namibia Telecom
Namibia Telecom

The deactivation aligns with CRAN’s mandate, which aims to bolster security and accountability within the telecommunications sector. By enforcing SIM card registration, authorities seek to curb fraudulent activities and ensure that every mobile number is traceable to a verified individual.


Impact on Subscribers

The measure has left a significant number of subscribers without service, prompting them to complete the registration process to regain connectivity. Telecom Namibia has urged affected users to visit any Teleshop to register their SIM cards, stressing the importance of compliance for both security and regulatory purposes.

Financial Implications

Telecom Namibia anticipates a monthly revenue loss ranging from N$6.3 to N$8.6 million (approximately €311,500 – €425,200) due to the deactivation. This financial setback underscores the delicate balance between regulatory adherence and business sustainability.

The logistical hurdle of registering SIM cards in a vast and sparsely populated country has been considerable. Despite endeavors to achieve a 90% registration rate, including collaborations with post offices and enlisting interns, the target remained elusive. The surge in registrations following the deactivation has also escalated operational costs for Telecom Namibia.

Telecom Namibia’s deactivation of unregistered prepaid SIM cards represents a bold stride toward regulatory compliance and heightened security in the digital era. While posing short-term challenges for both the company and its clientele, the long-term advantages of a secure and accountable telecommunications network are evident. As the situation stabilizes, attention will shift to Telecom Namibia’s ability to navigate this transition swiftly and effectively, and how other operators may emulate their actions.

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