Half of Zambia's Mobile Phones Face Disconnection on New Year's Day
Published on: 23rd Dec 2013
By: Ian Mansfield
Zambia is facing the potential to have around half its mobile phones cut off on New Year's Day as a SIM card registration deadline approaches.
The regulator says that of the country's 10.3 million active mobile lines, just 5.3 million have been registered with the mobile networks.
Around 5 million are still unregistered, and it looks unlikely that they could all be processed before the midnight deadline at the end of this year.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Panji Kaunda said that MTN has registered 2,590,737, Airtel has 2,166,667 recorded and Zamtel has 606,689.
The regulator and government have both already ruled out extending the deadline.
Once the deadline passes, any unregistered SIM card will still be able to send messages for a short period of time, but all inbound messages will be blocked, as will voice services.