August 31st, 2013 marked the end of the mandatory regulatory customer SIM registration exercise; the 18 month exercise was initiated by Government in March 2012.
By the deadline of 31st August, MTN Uganda had successfully registered 96% of its active customer base leaving a total of just 327,548 active customers yet to be registered. These have been affected by the full deactivation process effective 1st September 2013 as communicated by the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC).
The initial period was focused on registering as many of its customers as possible as the company carried out a validation of the information laterally. “We have done a lot better than we initially anticipated given the challenges encountered. The verification process continues and customers who registered but whose details are yet to be verified will not be disconnected”, said Anthony Katamba, MTN Uganda’s General Manager Corporate Services.
The MTN customers whose SIM cards have been deactivated can still visit one of its Customer Service outlets (Service Centers) across the country along with the Registration Agents that will be open even after the deadline. They will be able to register and reconnect them in line with guidelines issued by UCC.
Katamba explained that the disconnection will affect SIM card based services including incoming and outgoing voice, SMS, MMS and internet data services. The disconnection however does not mean these subscribers have lost their SIMs or their airtime balances. Upon registration, the SIM cards will be reconnected. Disconnected subscribers will still be able to call the MTN helplines as well as the subscriber registration short code of 197 to get assistance on how to register and get reconnected.
“There will be no need for customers to buy new SIM cards but the existing MTN SIM cards will be reactivated after registration. We will make sure that all our customers are given equal opportunity to register and remain connected on MTN network”, he added.
“We would like to thank our regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission, the Ministry of ICT, the Ministry of Security and all the other telecommunications operators who have all worked hard to make this exercise a success. We also thank our customers most importantly for responding to the call to get registered,” Katamba concluded.
How does a customer reconnect a number which has been deactivated?
1. Dial call center helpline 123 to submit registration information
2. Dial USSD self and alternate number registration via *197#. You will be guided through a menu process to register your SIM.
3. Send SMS with to register self or alternate number via short code 197
4. Call IVR voice registration helpline short code 197. You will be guided through a menu process to register your SIM.
5. Send an e-mail with a completed form attached, copy of ID and scanned photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org
All information submitted using the above listed options will be subject to off-line verification before reconnection.
What do the different responses mean when one dials *197# to check registration status?
SIM card registered successfully:
•The SIM card registration was successfully completed
SIM card registration pending verification:
•As part of the registration process, we are required to verify the records which you provided during registration before declaring it successful. If you received this response, it means that we have received your SIM card registration information but it has not yet been checked for completeness of the details provided. You will however continue receiving all the MTN services you have subscribed for.
SIM card is Unregistered:
•This message may be received if your SIM card was not registered at all OR if you registered on a form. In case of the latter, the information that was provided has not yet been captured into our system. In this case, we recommend that you keep checking your registration status by dialing *197#. Your registration will however be eventually verified. Alternatively to quicken capture of the details electronically, you may re-submit an electronic copy of your passport photo and copy of ID at email@example.com and we’ll get in touch to finalize your registration.
Registered Customers can also register their Secondary and alternative SIM cards by sending the SIM Information by SMS to 197.