PNG Independent Consumer and Competition Commission wants SIM card registration extended

PORT MORESBY,10 MAY 2018 (POST COURIER) – Papua New Guinea Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) is calling for an extension of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card registration.

This is especially for the benefit of the rural mobile phone users.

ICCC Commissioner and chief executive officer Paulus Ain said according to their assessment and finding, most of the people in the rural parts of the country had not registered SIM card.

Ain said ICCC called for another six months extension for the SIM deactivation deadline for those yet to register.

“One of the main reasons is that they are isolated and we are aware of this and most Papua New Guineans know that a person from a rural and remote place to have his/her SIM card registered is a lengthy destination,” said Ain.

He said the ICCC had been monitoring the implementation of the government’s policy on mandatory registration of SIM cards.

Ain said this progress had taken a while and they were aware of the government’s desire to have everyone’s SIM card registered on time, and ICCC thanked State agencies, including NICTA, Department of Communication and Information, and mobile operators Telikom PNG, Bmobile and Digicel PNG.

“This process has come to a stage where the government decided to put a stop on April 30, at that stage the ICCC felt important that it should meet with key stakeholders because we represent the consumers,” said Mr Ain.

ICCC felt there was not sufficient time to consumers or mobile sim card holders in the rural and remote parts of Papua New Guinea.

Ain said ICCC had pulled back because NICTA as the implementing agency was responsible to be at the forefront of the SIM card deactivation deadlines and issues.

“It came to a time that everybody will be deactivated, SIM card registration ends and that’s where we see that consumers are not being fairly represented,” said Ain.

“We are representing the mass of the consumers by informing the government and the operators that responsible agencies have not done well by getting consumers registered on time.”

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