ARE you having problems registering your SIM card?
Users found telecommunication companies’ SIM registration sites inaccessible or slow to load during the first few hours of mandatory registration, which began today.
Telecommunications companies have set up their own online portals where subscribers could register.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology said glitches could be expected in the initial rollout of the program.
In line with this, the DICT launched a 24/7 complaint center where the public can report their issues and concerns about SIM registration. The Complaint Center will be under the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), an attached agency of the DICT.
The DICT said the complaints could be directed to the CICC through its hotline 1326.
A check of the telcos’ SIM registration portals on Tuesday morning showed that these were difficult to access.
Several netizens complained on social media that they could not enter the sites.
Telecom firms Globe and Smart Communications Inc. issued separate advisories to address the concerns.
Globe said those finding it difficult to access the site could try again later.
“Rest assured that we are optimizing our systems to give you a better registration experience,” it said.
Smart attributed the slowdown to the many people trying to access the registration sites. It said it would increase its capacity.
“Due to the high volume of registrants, some subscribers may experience difficulty accessing the SIM registration site. Our technical team is working on increasing capacity,” it said.
Test period difficulties
DICT spokesperson Undersecretary Anna Mae Lamentillo said the department considers the first two weeks of the SIM registration as a “test period.”
Glitches and technical issues are expected as telcos fine tune their processes, Lamentillo said.
“The first 15 days starting December 27 is a test period. This means that registrations during this period are all valid, but we are already anticipating that there could be some difficulties because this process is new to both the subscribers and the [public telecommunications entities],” she said in a statement.
During the first two weeks of the implementation, telcos would have the chance to assess what they need to improve to make the registration process easier and more efficient, she added.
The launch of the complaint center would also help ensure that concerns would be addressed promptly, she said.
She said DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy wants to ensure the SIM registration process would be completed as soon as possible within the 180-day period. He also wants the process to be seamless, she added.
The Philippine government has passed a law requiring subscribers to register their SIM and provide proof of identity. Officials said this would promote accountability and help deter scams and other crimes that use cellphones.
Banner photo credit: DICT