Use of SIM cards registered under others’ names to be restricted

Published On: September 19, 2019 09:16 AM NPT By: Sujita Pradhan

KATHMANDU, Sept 19: Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) is making it mandatory to register the mobile SIM card under the user’s own name. The new rule that the NTA – the telecommunication market regulator – is introducing ‘soon’ will restrict individuals from using the SIM card registered under the ownership of another person.

Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson of the NTA, told Republica that they are introducing the rule, in the wake of rampant use of SIM cards by users that they acquire from another person or registered under other’s name.

This new rule will not only help the law enforcement agencies to trace the real users in case of misuse of mobile phone for illegal works, but also enable people to use various government facilities that will be rolled out through ‘Citizen App’.

“Using SIM card is an everyday necessity for communication. However, there have been a lot of criminal cases that are carried out using others’ SIM cards. The police trace the wrong person whose name is registered for the SIM, which creates a lot of hassle in solving cases,” said Aryal.

“So to solve those problems, we want every Nepali citizen to use SIM card registered under their name only,” he said.

The number of SIM cards sold by various mobile service providers is estimated to be higher than the total population of the country.

According to NTA officials, the government is coming up with different e-governance facilities which would be available to the people at their fingertips through their smart phones.

“Different official functions under Nepal government could be carried out by using the citizen app, and for this, the citizens need to register SIM card with their own citizenship card,” Aryal said.

“We would be able to provide different services to the public and also monitor each individual in case there is misuse of any facility,” said Aryal.

However, NTA officials say that they do not plan to penalize or punish those phone users who are using SIM cards registered under others’ names. But, they will not be able to access or get the government facility from the Citizens App.

What is ‘Citizen App’?
KATHMANDU: Citizen App is an app about to be launched by Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) for providing different e-governance facilities to the public using information communication technology. The concept of Digital Nepal will be forwarded by Citizen App as this app will contain different facilities related to health, education, farming, business, industry, and registration for different services at government offices.

Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson of Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), said: “It is our initial step for making Nepal ‘digital’ and providing various services to the public from their own smart phones. This will not only provide them government facilities, but also help in taking services to the rural parts of Nepal where people are deprived of facilities.”

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