Business | General

Unverified SIM cards will be suspended

UAE mobile subscribers who failed to re-register their SIM cards will lose connection

  • By Zaher Bitar, Senior Reporter, and Naushad K. Cherrayil, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 16:08 January 14, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News
  • Customers wait in line at Deira City Centre on Monday to register their SIMs.

Dubai: Beginning on Tuesday, UAE mobile subscribers who have failed to update their personal data with etisalat and du will be cut off, a top official at the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) told Gulf News.

If you have received an SMS warning you to register your mobile and you’ve ignored it, beware.

“It is a regulation that should be abided by all subscribers who got an SMS from one of the UAE official operators to re-register their personal information during an assigned period,” said Majid Al Mesmar, Deputy Director General of TRA.

“Those who failed to update their personal data for either etisalat or du will lose their mobile connection starting on January 16 until they would be able to complete the re-registration process.”

But if you haven’t received an SMS so far, you needn’t worry — your turn will come in the coming months.

But if you fail to update your information within the specified period following the SMS, your SIM card could be cancelled.

“To register the personal information, etisalat and du subscribers should visit any of their outlets, offices or service centres across the Emirates and submit original copies of their personal documents for authentication,” he said.

Etisalat has 105 registration points across the UAE, while du has 46.

There are more than 13 million mobile phones in use in the UAE and the TRA has launched its ‘My Number, My Identity’ campaign in June to stamp out mobile phone fraud and tighten security.

By the end of this year, all of the mobile phones in the UAE should be registered. After that, registered owners of the SIMs will have to bear any consequences for misuse of the cards issued in their names.

The increase in civil and criminal cases due to misuse of mobile numbers has pushed TRA to enforce such procedures to help protect the mobile subscribers’ rights and prevent risks of misuse, Al Mesmar said.

“Until today, we are still receiving complaints from customers that result in legal and financial issues between the actual owner and the actual user of the SIM cards,” he said.

Du is granting a grace period of three months to customers who did not re-register their SIM cards by the end of tomorrow. After that, the SIM will be suspended if they failed to do so.

Etisalat did not respond to Gulf News queries yesterday.

Du said it has divided its more than six million mobile subscribers into six or seven batches.

“The deadline is applicable only to the first two batches and others need not worry,” said du’s Yasser Al Yousuf, director for its premium personal market

Around two million subscribers are in the first two batches, and du said around three million customers have re-registered their details. Du subscribers can voluntarily proceed to re-register their numbers at the call centre, and those who did will receive a confirmation message thanking them for registering.

“The next batch will have three months to re-register their cards and the date for the next batch will be decided by the TRA,” he said.

While both of the UAE telecom service providers say they have frequently clarified how the registration process works step by step, a lot of customers say they are still unaware about what to do.

Mukhtar Ullar, asked for advice and further explanation about the registrations process. He said that he has to register his SIM card and his wife’s but don’t know much about the procedures.

Osama Mahmood said the registration process hasn’t worked as expected.

“I’ve submitted the form for re-registration of etisalat SIM cards, but still no confirmation message has been received for some numbers,” he told Gulf News. “Three times I went to the etisalat branch and said that I still had no confirmation SMS. They told me not to worry, the number will be re-registered. I’ve even asked if I have to resubmit, they said ‘No.’ Now I am afraid I’ll lose some of my numbers even though I have re-registered those.”

Important info 

All mobile phone users in the UAE are required to re-register their numbers as part of the TRA’s ‘My Number, My Identity’ campaign. Here’s vital information you need to know.

How do I know when to re-register my number?

There are several staggered dates for re-registration, the first of which is tomorrow. Mobile phone users will receive an SMS telling them when they need to re-register by. If you have received an SMS advising you to re-register by tomorrow, you need to do so immediately or your service may be suspended. If you haven’t
received an SMS, you don’t have to re-register just yet — but you can still re-register at any time.

What documents will I need?

UAE nationals: An original and valid Emirates ID, or an original and valid UAE passport.
GCC nationals: An original and valid Emirates ID, or an original and valid GCC passport, or an original and valid GCC ID.
Expatriates and visitors: An original and valid
Emirates ID, or an original and valid passport and visa.

What if it’s a mobile belonging to a business or government entity?

These numbers must also be re-registered.
The following documents are required:
An original and valid Establishment Card that is issued by Ministry of Interior (Immigration Office);
An original and valid Power of Attorney;
An original and valid ID and details of the authorised single point of contact.

Do I need to bring anything else?

You should also bring a clear photocopy of the document you intend to use. And if you have a re-registration form filled out in advance, all the better — but you can complete this form when registering your mobile phone. It simply saves time.

Where do I re-register my SIM card?

You can re-register your card at any etisalat or du office. In addition, certain authorised outlets are also accepting re-registration details. According to du, these include authorised dealers including Axiom, Jumbo, Eros, Jacky’s, E-max, Plug-ins and more.

Why do I have to re-register my line or renew my registration?

This is in line with the TRA’s policy regarding the re-registration requirements for consumer mobile customers to protect their rights and confidentiality and to avoid fraud cases.

How can I restore my mobile service?

If you have received SMSes asking you to update your identification documents and you haven’t done so before the provided deadline, your mobile service may get suspended. To restore your mobile service quickly, you must re-register your phone.

What will happen if I fail to register by the date mentioned in the SMS?

Your line will be suspended for a period of time. If you still to not re-register during the suspension period, your mobile line will be de-activated and you will not be able to claim back your number.

Do I have to update and re-register identification documents if I have not yet received an SMS?

If you have not received an SMS with your re-registration due date yet, your line will not be suspended. However, you can still re-register your line at your convenience.

Comments (15)

  1. Added 08:03 January 16, 2013

    It is just ridiculous that etisalat have given the deadline but has not made any effort to have more counters to meet the demand. In Al Tawar Centre yesterday I took a token at 11.30 am and my turn came at 4.00 pm. I had to take a full day off from work. Either they should have more counters or should have made some online options for people to fill out the form and make necesary attachments. A very, very unprofessional approach

    Srividhya Sridhar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:53 January 15, 2013

    re registration process is good to all users as mobile financial scams are on the rise. i would be glad to comply if ever i will receive a text message. however, providers must find a way wherein mobile users can comply with the procedure online so as to avoid long que at etisalat and du offices

    benjie soriano, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:38 January 15, 2013

    I just left UAE one year back, but still using UAE SIM to check for calls and SMS'. What will happened to those who are out of country and cannot re-register within given date? Can I advise to introduce online reregistration process with required varification process? That means user can send legal & required documents to authority.

    Javed Rahim Khan, Doha, Qatar

  4. Added 12:25 January 15, 2013

    Etisalat's approach to register the mobile numbers is absolutely ridiculous. Inspite of submitting the registration form 2 weeks back and continously following up with their service/call centers, my mobile is still not registered. One needs to be fully equiped to complete the registrations in a timely manner, if they decide to keep deadlines. Their service representatives are hardly available and have no answer to anybody's queries.

    Anonymous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 12:24 January 15, 2013

    the operator should have some online process to get this done. i went three times to etislat office and queue is so long. i waited for 4 hours, two days and got fed up. its better to take a new number if they cancel, then to wait at this time i believe

    IGNATIUS, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 12:16 January 15, 2013

    What is the guarantee that our personal information cannot be hacked by fraudsters and that they won't commit crimes on our behalf?

    anonymous, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 12:01 January 15, 2013

    This is a good step and hopefully will get rid of the scam calls people receive about winning half a million dirhams and then asking to give them calling card numbers for AED1500. I have reported the Etisalat numbers used by these scammers to the Etisalat helpline 101 but they do not seem interested and only advise not to take it seriously. I have also submitted my numbers for re-registeration but not received any confirmation or text.

    nadeem, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 11:27 January 15, 2013

    I have my du number, it's under my friends name, but he cancelled his visa 2 years back gone out of UAE, now how can i register this number?

    Thushara, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:50 January 15, 2013

    Etisalat doesnt accept forms on Saturday. Need to go on weekdays which is not possible. I tried twice. once i was in a line for token as soon as i reach for token receptionist shut it down on my face on pretex that her system is not working. Waisted 2 hrs in line.

    Leena, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 10:16 January 15, 2013

    Its useless to say etisalat is having 105 counters. Most of the families are having more than one etisalat SIM cards and these counters don't accept application with more than one SIM card. Visited these counters two times, even though the staff were sitting idle they told me they could not accept the application and that I needed to visit business centres. So, yesterday I visited eitsalat office travelling 40 kms and waited for two hours. Another inconvenience.

    Saji, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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