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Sudan: Telecoms companies block non-registered SIM cards

The Sudanese Telecommunication Corporation (STC) has withdrawn service from hundreds of thousands of subscribers, who failed, after months of warning, to register their SIM cards, known as Subscriber Identity Module (SIM).

The official Sudan media Centre on Sunday said the Corporation has been warning customers of the three companies operating in the country, Zain, Al Sudani and MTN, to register their SIM cards, providing basic information on the holder of the Card or risk losing the services.

The corporation, the body that supervises telecommunication in Sudan, said millions of subscribers have failed to comply with the new regulation.

Dr. Yahiya Abd-Allah, Director General of the Corporation, was quoted as saying that the country will now link the SIM card to the National Register of individuals.

The campaign said two million SIM cards were not registered by 2013, indicating that it began a massive campaign on radio, TV and newspapers urging individuals to register their SIM cards.

It said by June 2014, some 1.6 million responded.

Some of those non registered SIM cards have been used in criminal activities, according to one newspaper editor, Mohamed Abdul Gadir, who said that at least 700 phony alerts were sent to police departments daily using those unregistered cards and it was impossible to track the criminals.

Abdul Gadir, Editor in Chief of Al Ahram today (Arabic for Pyramid Today) said some of those SIM cards were used to commit crimes, disintegrate families and in embezzlement.

“It was high time for those companies to strictly abide by the new regulations” he wrote in his much read column “Whatever”  in the daily.

According to the Akhbar Al youm daily, some 25 million subscribers are clients to the three telecoms companies in Sudan.

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