15 Aug 2012

SIM Registration Focus in Africa

The AfricaCom 2012 team are delighted to welcome Channel IT at the event and as a guest blogger – see below for their thoughts on SIM Registration Focus in Africa

Governments and Telecom Regulators globally are focussing now on ensuring that all their mobile network users (both pre- and post-paid) are registered with the network in question. Their main reason for driving this program is an attempt to cut down on criminal activities and threats to end users within the country itself.

Some African markets already have well established programs (since 2009 in South Africa’s case) but in other countries this is still a new or even pending initiative. Despite Operator’s acknowledging the need for such undertakings there is often concern about the impact this will have on subscriber numbers or revenues (when these are already low in some cases). In one Sub-Saharan network, for example, the number of users fell by 1.4 million after the legislation was introduced. In addition the Operator carries the cost of these activities, which can be time consuming and involve a great deal of paperwork and bureaucracy.

In reality the statistics will show that subscribers that are lost are in many cases “zero” ARPU subscribers. How often have you had a prepaid SIM card expire on you for non-use? Subscriber numbers are also inflated in many instances to begin with. In reality there is little evidence to support these concerns and the downward trend does not last. Whatever the numbers reflect the reality is that Operators will have to go through the SIM registration exercise at some point in the near future, it’s almost inevitable.

We at Channel IT have developed our own Biometric & Data Capture System which captures demographic information, a user photograph, a fingerprint biometric and a copy of a valid ID card (as per the Operator’s requirements) in both offline and online mode. The system is portable, secure and robust, and has already achieved great success in Nigeria where 38 million users have been successfully and easily registered.

Visit the Channel IT Group stand at AfricaCom (A16a) in Cape Town between the 13th and 15th November 2012 and allow us to demonstrate our system to you.