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Mandatory phone SIM registration begins on Sunday

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: A plan is underway for all 7-Eleven and Family Mart convenience stores throughout Phuket to register prepaid SIM cards for mobile phones at point of sale, as a convenient way for people to meet the new requirement for registration of SIM cards on or before the July 31 deadline.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) announced last week that all SIM cards in the country must be registered, including SIM cards sold to expats and tourists.

Any SIMS not registered by July 31 will be blocked from making outgoing calls or accessing data services, the NBTC warned.

However, although unregistered SIM cards will be restricted from July 31, users will still be able to receive calls.

About 110 million mobile phone SIM cards are in use in Thailand, of which around 100 million are prepaid, reports The Nation. Of this, only around 10.6 million are registered by users. The remaining 90 million are unregistered (story here).

Registration opens this Sunday, explained Wanna Setthaphong, director of the Region 11 NBTC office, based in Phuket.

“People can register their SIM cards at any official mobile phone operator’s office – but not at secondhand phone shops,” he confirmed to the Phuket Gazette.

“Or they can register their cards at the NBTC Phuket office on Wichit Songkram Road, near Kathu Temple. Thais must present their national ID cards, and foreigners must present their passports.”

The registration process is hoped to take only minutes, but will require the staff at mobile phone stores to register the details of every registrant by taking a photo of his or her ID card or passport.

“This is part of the NBTC’s move to support the government’s national security policy,” Mr Wanna said. “In past years, unregistered SIMs have reportedly been used by terrorists to plant bombs, as well as for fraudulent and illegal businesses.

“We have created an online application that should make the process smoother. Staff registering users’ details can download the app, which can be used to take a photo of the SIM card code and the ID card or passport presented.

“The app will then immediately send the data to the NBTC’s server, which is connected with the servers of the five telecom operators. The NBTC server will verify the ID card information and, if it is found to be correct, send the verified data back to the telecom operator’s server, to activate the SIM card.”

People who are not sure in whose name their SIM cards are registered can also use the service to check, Mr Wanna said.

Mr Wanna urged people with queries to contact their mobile phone operator or his office, as follows:

DTAC: call 1678, or +66 2202 7000 from abroad.

AIS: call 1175, or +6622719000 from abroad.

True: call 1331, or +662 900 9000 from abroad.

NBTC Phuket: call 076 321 961-3, or email mtr_pk@nbtc.go.th

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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