Bulgarian news agency BTA has reported that by 31 December 2009 approximately 1.8 million users had registered their pre-paid SIM cards. According to a new provision in the law on electronic communications, adopted in late 2009, mobile phone companies had to register the name, address and EGN – Bulgaria’s equivalent of a social security number – of their customers, who were given about two weeks at the end of the year to comply with the new rules. BTA revealed that MobilTel registered 800,000 pre-paid SIM card users, followed closely by Globul with 789,000. Vivacom meanwhile registered 200,000 users. Subscribers who did not register their SIM card before the 31 December deadline have been blocked from making outgoing calls (except for calls to the 112 emergency services number), although a grace period until 31 January 2010 means that they will continue to receive incoming calls and texts. If a customer fails to register by the end of January, the number and card will be terminated.
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