By DAPHNE WANI
MOBILE phone users have another two and a half months to register their SIM cards if they have not done so.
The new deadline of July 31 was announced by Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy Sam Basil yesterday.
It followed a National Court decision on Tuesday to lift a restraining order on the deactivation of SIM cards which had not been registered.
The National Information and Communication Technology Authority (Nicta) had earlier set an April 30
But Madang MP Bryan Kramer obtained a stay order from the court on April 29 to allow him to challenge NICTA’s decision to deactivate unregistered SIM cards.
Basil said Nicta would proceed with the deactivation process after July 31.
“Firstly, I recognised that despite the vibrant partnership between Nicta and the PNG Council of Churches (PNGCC) to reach SIM card and mobile phone holders in the remotest parts of PNG, training of pastors and clergyman by telecommunication service providers was slow and in some instances did not eventuate,” he said.
“Secondly, I recognised the unexpected earthquake devastation of parts of the five provinces in recent months (which) have made access to those areas important.
“And mobile telephone communication in many cases are a matter of life and death.”
Basil said the National Information and Communication Technology Authority officers would be at the headquarters of the telecommunication service providers “to see this effected at the stroke of midnight”.
“I am also calling on all telecommunications service providers Digicel PNG Limited, bMobile-Vodafone and Telikom PNG Limited to comply and undertake this SIM card registration exercise as a matter of urgency,” he said.
Basil said telecommunications service providers should know that the SIM card registration was their responsibility as licensed mobile telecommunication service providers.
“You are the ones who will lose business through loss of your customers when their sim cards are deactivated.
“And if their sim cards are not deactivated, the operator will pay a fine of K5000 per sim card not deactivated.
“I am urging all leaders including MPs, provincial leaders including local level government (LLG) presidents and ward councillors to urge their
people to register their sim cards.
“I also want provincial health, education, law and order and key government services authorities to ensure that all rural service providers have their mobile telephone sim cards registered.
He said the compulsory sim card registration was an important requirement of the Government and not something dreamt up overnight and imposed on citizens.
By DAPHNE WANI