Over 9 Million SIM Cards Deactivated: Hundreds Storm Offices Of Telcos To Restore Services

Over 9 Million SIM Cards Deactivated: Hundreds Storm Offices Of Telcos To Restore Services

  • Telcos have deactivated over 9 million SIM cards that have not been biometrically linked to the Ghana Card
  • This follows the expiration of a May 31, 2023 deadline set by the National Communications Authority and the communication ministry
  • As a result of the deactivation many Ghanaians have thronged the offices of telcos and NIA to either restore their services by linking the SIMs with the national ID or get the Ghana Card

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Telecommunication companies have deactivated at least 9 million unregistered SIM cards that have not been linked to the Ghana national ID card.

The National Communication Authority (NCA) directed the telcos to deactivate the SIM cards following the expiration of a Wednesday, May 31, 2023, deadline.

Generally, SIMs that have been blocked will not be able to make a call, receive a call send a text or access data services.

Ghanaians storm MTN offices to restore their deactivated SIMs
Some of the affected Ghanaians wait at the office of a telco to get their deactivated SIMs restored (L) and a creative image of SIM cards. Source: Facebook/@JoyNewsonTV, Getty Images.
Source: UGC

There have been at least three postponements of the deadline for the SIM re-registration before the last one on Wednesday as many Ghanaians and experts criticise the re-registration process as cumbersome.

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There are even some who view the re-registration process as illegal and unnecessary.

But the communication ministry believes linking SIM cards to the Ghana Card ID is crucial to sanitise the ecosystem and fight SIM fraud.

Money in mobile money wallets are safe

CEO of Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications Dr Ken Ashigbey has out of the 9 million SIMs that have been blocked, 7.4 million have mobile money.

"They will not have access to their mobile money," he told Citi News.

He however explained that whatever monies on people's wallets on a barred SIM card will not be lost. He said the network operators will keep the money safe.

"Subscribers who have over GH¢200 million on their wallets, when they are barred, they will get the opportunity if they register, they will get their numbers back to have access to their monies,” he said.

Mad rush at telco offices to reconnect service

Reports being monitored by YEN.com.gh disclose that hundreds of Ghanaians affected by the mass SIM card deactivation thronged some telecommunication services centres on Thursday, June 1, 2023, to restore their line.

Others have massed up at the offices National Identification Authority (NIA) in a desperate attempt to secure their Ghana Card.

The lack of access to the Ghana Card has been cited as among the major reasons some members of the public have not been able to connect their SIMs to their Ghana Card.

SIM card registration started in 2021

Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh reported in a previous story that the biometric SIM card registration exercise begins started on Friday, October 1, 2021, across the country.

Even at the time, the communication ministry warned that unregistered numbers will be blocked after March 2022.

The directive from the communication ministry also made the Ghana Card the only ID for biometric SIM card registration.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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