Telecom Companies In Trouble -90 Days Ultimatum Slammed


By Joseph S. Margai, Strategic Communications Coordinator, State House

 In order to tackle the increasing rate of cybercrime, the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) has recently slapped a 90-day ultimatum on Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

The ultimatum is to allow them to do a proper registration of all mobile Sim cards in the country.

According to the Head of Cyber Security at NATCOM, Abdul Kamara, the country’s sole telecommunications regulator on Tuesday 7th May, 2019 sternly reiterated its warning to MNOs to register all mobile Sim cards within 90 days, adding that the ultimatum came into effect on 15th April, 2019 and in July this year, NATCOM expects every MNO to have complied.

“The Commission took this decision because of the rise in cybercrime,” Abdul Kamara said. “We have received complaints from the general public of impersonation, mobile money theft, murder related cases, among many others.”

He added that NATCOM wants to ensure that the criteria for Sim cards registration are strictly followed by MNOs. “These criteria include names, addresses, photos, among others, of all subscribers,” Mr. Kamara said. “Once these are available in the data system of the MNOs, we would now be able to tackle cybercrime by arresting anyone that is involved.”

He also said some social media users are in the habit of breaking into someone’s private account and start to post thrash, thereby putting the real owner’s security into threat.

Mr. Kamara said NATCOM has a responsibility to protect subscribers by prioritising national security, noting that penalties for failing to meet the 90 days ultimatum would be determined by the country’s sole telecommunications regulator.