VNBusinessNews.com – The Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) on January 5 decided to allow mobile network operators to stop providing mobile services to subscribers who haven’t registered.
At an urgent meeting between the MoIC and seven mobile operators on January 5, participants agreed to deactivate phone numbers that are yet to declare personal information after December 31, 2009. The deadline for those who own over three phone numbers on the same network will be January 31, 2010.
It is estimated that at least 500,000 phone numbers will be deactivated.
According to mobile networks, by January 5, there were around 3.5 million subscribers that were yet to declare personal information. Most of them belong to the three largest mobile networks – VinaPhone, MobiFone and Viettel.
Previously, Viettel announced it had around 80,000 subscribers who hadn’t registered yet but the actual number is now believed to be ten times higher.
Mobile operators asked the MoIC to extend the deadline of registration for subscribers who have over three sims until December 31, 2010 but the MoIC rejected the petition and have extended to January 31, 2010 only.
Vinaphone begins crackdown
Mobile service provider Vinaphone has cancelled the subscriptions of 100 pre-paid subscribers for failing to register as required by the Government.
However, the registration process has come under fire as many complain about irregularities.
In December 2007, the Ministry of Information and Communications ordered all pre-paid mobile phone users to file their personal information, and set a deadline of December 31, 2009, for this.
Pham Ngoc Tu, deputy head of the State-owned Vinaphone’s business section, said on Monday that his company has received information from around one million subscribers.
But he admitted there was a lot of duplication because people have registered their numbers using others’ ID cards.
The company is now collating final statistics to report to the ministry and seek its guidance.
An executive of the military-run Viettel said as of January 3 his mobile network had 45,000 prepaid subscribers who had yet to declare their information. But Viettel has not deleted their names from its database.
People have been flocking to agents’ to complete their registration in the last two days.
Hoang Khanh of District 4, HCM City, who went to check if his number remains in force, found that his SIM card had been registered under someone else’s name.
He asked the agent: “I have used this MobiFone number for 10 years and have never lost or changed it. I submitted a copy of my family record book and signed a contract when registering for this SIM [after Jan 2008]. How can it turn out to be in another name?”
“It might be a mistake. Could you please register again?” was the reply he got.
Hoang Ha, a Vinaphone subscriber, had a similar complaint.
Another MobiFone subscriber, known only as Ha, who registered by SMS at the end of 2008, also said the information was different when he went to check.
Calling it “strange,” he said: “I still have the confirmation SMS I got from the mobile network.”
Other subscribers seem more resigned. Minh Tuan, a salesman, said: “I bought a SIM card with a nice number six months ago. When I went to register, the official said the number had already been registered under another name. So I did not sign the contract.”
“Should I do the registration again?” he wondered.
Subscribers such as Hoang Khanh, Hoang Ha, and Minh Tuan are likely to be fined VND200,000 to VND500,000 for failing to declare the correct information or not registering when changing the subscriber’s name.
Others could have their phone numbers deleted because of similar mistakes by their mobile phone network because the new regulations allow a person to have a maximum of three numbers in one network.
Many honest subscribers are unlikely to be amused by this.
Mobifone’s Dinh Viet Hung said his network would penalise people using others’ ID cards to register their phone number.
He also said there has been no instruction from the Ministry of Information and Communications about extending December 31 deadline.