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NTC: Over 3M SIMs registered so far 

by Leila Salaverria

AMID glitches and crashing websites, over 3 million SIMs or subscriber identify modules have been registered so far in compliance with the law, the National Telecommunications Commission said Thursday.

NTC Deputy Commissioner Jon Paulo Salvahan said Globe Telecom already has 1.913 million registered subscribers, while Smart Communications has 1.019 million registered subscribers so far.

DITO has also reported more than 530,000 successfully registered subscribers. 

The registration of SIMs began on December 27, in compliance with Republic Act 11934 that made it mandatory in order to promote accountability and help deter scams and other crimes that use cellphones.

180 days enough?

The registration will last for 180 days, or until April 26, 2023. 

Salvahan believes the 180 days would be enough to complete the registration for the 160 to 180 million active SIMs in the country, especially since the NTC expects the rate of registration to improve in the coming days. 

But in case the 180 days would not be enough, the law allows an extension of 120 more days.

This would be at the discretion of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, he said.

“At sa atin pong pakikipag-ugnayan sa DICT, they are (willing), if necessary, to extend the period of 180 days,” he said.

Birth pains

Salvahan said the telecommunications companies encountered a heavy volume of online applications in the first two days of the SIM registration, and this slowed down their systems or caused these to shut down. 

Subscribers also complained about difficulty accessing the portals to begin the registration process, he said. 

To address this, he said the telcos had increased their system capacity to accommodate more subscribers.

The NTC also created a task force to monitor the implementation of the SIM registration law and to require the telcos to report incidences of failed registration and other concerns. 

Weak signals 

Salvahan said the NTC has met with telcos to identify remote areas in the country which have limited connectivity. The NTC has also created an ad hoc committee on SIM registration in remote areas.

It is looking into tapping the services of the police and the military to facilitate SIM registration in areas where there is armed conflict or security concerns. 

Banner photo: Image by Freepik

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