Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Glitches hit new SIM-card registration system in deep South

May 31. 2017
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By Narong Nuansakul,
Nakarin Chinnawornkomon
The Nation

3,740 Viewed

The first day when pre-paid mobile phone users in Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and two Songkhla districts were required to have their fingerprints scanned and pictures taken in addition to showing ID cards when they buy new SIM cards has already encountered several issues.

The two districts in Songkhla are Na Thawi and Chana.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) issued the new measure to curb the use of SIM cards to activate mobile phones attached to bombs and to enable security officials to trace SIMs to their owners.

Authorities were meant to have 30 fingerprint-scanning devices available by Wednesday. 

In Yala, a Telewiz branch was equipped with the fingerprint-scanning device, but the system on Wednesday morning was not operating properly and could not read data from smart ID cards so customers were allowed to buy SIMs just by showing their IDs. Other retail shops in Yala also failed to implement the new system.

In Narathiwat’s Muang district, random checks at designated locations found that the system was not ready on the first day so SIM cards were also still being sold to customers who simply presented ID cards. 

Members of the public in Narathiwat told reporters that they did not know about the new requirement for new purchases, that people’s biometric data would be stored at the central population database, or about the NBTC’s requirement for existing SIM-card users to re-register their cards under the new system within 120 days or their numbers would be taken out of service.

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