Agence Ecofin reports that Senegalese telecoms regulator Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP) has extended the deadline for mandatory SIM card registration to 18 August 2013 from 31 July 2013, in the wake of requests from local mobile operators. In a release, the watchdog urged all cell phone users in the country to take advantage of the extension, reminding them that the process is free. ARTP’s Omar Sakho Diene says that after 31 July users who have failed to register their SIMs may find their outgoing service is cut off but ‘can receive calls but for a limited time to encourage them to identify themselves before their number is definitely cut’.
In June this year, Senegal’s Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy launched a scheme to identify all mobile subscribers in the country. The project, managed by ARTP, is being carried out under recommendations laid out by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – adopted in 2007 – that require domestic cellcos to identify who is using their mobile services in order to provide more reliable statistics on the market, improve security and tackle the grey market for phones. Six years after adopting the decree, Senegal’s wireless service providers have so far failed to complete the mobile identification scheme. Orange Senegal, Tigo Senegal and Sudatel Senegal (Expresso) have deployed teams across the country to help complete the process.