BASIC INFORMATION ON THE 2021 SIM REGISTRATION
|1||What||All SIM Cards in Ghana are to be re-registered or risk being removed from the communications network.|
|2||When||This is taking place from 1st October, 2021 to 30th September, 2022|
|3||Where||Being done across the entire country and will be rolled out in phases.|
|4||Why||To develop and build a SIM database with integrity, boosting confidence and security for the use of services dependent on the communications networkTo curb fraudulent activitiesTo Secure SIM Card based transactions|
|5||Who||This affects every existing and potential SIM user and they will require all existing and potential SIM users to have their IDs as listed below to register their SIMs: SIM User ID Required Ghanaian Citizens Anyone who resides in Ghana and currently using a SIM card or who intends to use a SIM Card Ghana Card Ghanaian Businesses Any Business operating in Ghana and using SIM Cards and new Businesses intending to own and use SIM cards in future. Business Certificate of Incorporation & Ghana Card/Non-Citizens National ID Card of Director(s) and/or Shareholder(s) of the company Foreigner Resident in Ghana Non-Citizen National ID Card or Ghana Card for Foreign Nationals On a short visit less than 90 days (ECOWAS nationals and other nationals) Passport or ECOWAS Card Want to roam on a Ghanaian network with a foreign SIM Card. Non applicable|
|6||How||Existing SIMs: USSD for Stage 1 – Required to send the following details from their Ghana Card to Short Code 404: First name and Surname, Date of Birth, Ghana Card PIN, Sex (all as captured on the Ghana Card)SIM Registration App for Stage 2 – Capturing of Ghana Card and Biometric information. New SIMs/New & Existing BWA SIMs: SIM Registration App to send the following details from their Ghana Card to Short Code 404(*404#): First name and Surname, Date of Birth, Ghana Card PIN, Sex. App to also capture Ghana Card and Biometric information. The MNO will confirm the details and forward to the NIA for verification. NIA will inform the MNOs on positive or negative verification results who will in turn inform subscribers accordingly. Cost – Free for all Subscribers. New Subscribers will only be required to pay for the cost of the SIM Cards and not for the cost of the Registration. SIM Ownership Individuals – Limit of 10 SIM Cards across all networks Foreigners – Limit of 3 SIM Cards across all networks for Visiting Foreigners – Limit of 10 SIM Cards across all networks for Resident Foreigners No Limit on SIM Cards for Businesses|
KEY CONCERN AREAS/FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR SIM REGISTRATION 2021
- Why the need/benefit for SIM Registration?
- Secure your SIM and stay connected
- To develop and build a SIM database with integrity, boosting confidence and security for the use of services dependent on the communications network
- To curb fraudulent and criminal activities
- Secure SIM Card based transactions
- To help determine at every point in time the accurate number of valid and accurate SIMs on the networks
- For Operators, the exercise will enable them to build better demographics of their customer base and help them develop products and services to suit the various groupings
- The Regulator, NCA, will also depend on the statistics generated by the data to regulate the industry even better.
- On the economic front, the SIM Registration will enhance economic growth and gradually formalise the informal sector as people will now be able to access E-Government services and other private e-services. In addition, the SIM Registration will also support financial inclusion across the vulnerable sectors.
- Why are we re-registering?
- ID Verification – The key challenge with the 2010/2011 SIM registration and thereafter was the verification of the identification documents used. There are records of fake ID numbers as well as fictitious names for existing SIM registration databases.
The integrity of existing SIM registration databases was compromised by the non-verification of the identities used for registration.
- Pre-registered SIM cards – There is also the issue of non-verification of IDs which allowed some SIM card vendors to register SIMs before selling them. Consequently, the SIM was already activated before it is sold to the eventual user. This defeated the primary objective of the SIM registration exercise.
In 2016, the Electronic Communications (Amendment) Act, 2016, Act 910 outlawed the dealing in pre-registered SIMs. Violators were and are liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both.
- Non-enforcement of the provisions of the law – Since sometime in 2013, the NCA relaxed the enforcement of the SIM Registration Regulations due to a plan to register all SIM users following the issuance of a National Identification Card. Regulation 7(1)(l) of the National Identity Register Regulations, 2012 – L.I. 2111 (20th Feb, 2012) made the National ID card the mandatory identification document for registration of SIM cards.
The plan at the time was to conduct a national SIM re-registration exercise when the national ID registration exercise is completed. The national ID project which delayed created a long lull in enforcement of the SIM registration regulations resulting in several improperly registered SIMs being activated on the networks of the MNOs.
- Enforcement of the provisions of the law – In accordance with the law, the following Identification Document shall be used for the registration exercise:
- Regulation 7(1)(l) of the National Identity Register states that, “A National Identity Card (Ghana Card) issued to an individual shall be used for the registration of SIM cards; where identification is required.” This is applicable to individuals who qualify for citizen and non-citizen National ID Cards.
- For non-citizens who are not resident in Ghana (who will be staying in Ghana for less than 90 days), a valid passport or ECOWAS Card; is required
- For a corporate body, a certificate of incorporation will be required for identification.
- What will our details/data be used for?
- Your details shall be stored in a Central SIM Registry and shall only be accessed:
- Upon receipt of a court order to aid law enforcement prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute fraud and other criminal activities.
- To aid National Security matters such as a public health emergency.
- Your details will not be used for any other purpose or shared.
- Your details shall be stored in a Central SIM Registry and shall only be accessed:
- Who will keep our details/data?
The data will be stored in a Central SIM Registry at the National Information Technology
- Who can have access to the details/data collected?
- Access to the SIM Register will be highly restricted with the relevant audit trails to provide details of anyone who accesses it. There will be strict compliance with the Data Protection Act 2012 (Act 843). Furthermore, the Data Protection Commission is a major stakeholder in this exercise.
- The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation has designated the National Information Technology Agency as the institution to host the SIM Register.
- Is there any cost to the SIM Registration?
- Existing subscribers will not be required to pay for registering your SIM Card. Please do not pay money to any agent or vendor who asks for money to register your SIM Card. Also report to your Service Provider or the NCA, anybody who asks for payment before registering your SIM Card.
- The Government has agreed with all stakeholders to waive the fee for SIM registration to encourage SIM Registration.
- New Subscribers will only be required to pay for the cost of the SIM Cards and not for the cost of the Registration.
- What happens to the old registration data?
This will no longer be useful.
- Where was the old registration data kept?
The data for the old registration was kept with the various MNOs or SIM issuing companies.
- What is the duration for the registration?
The SIM Registration begun on 1st October, 2021 and ends on 30th September, 2022.
- What IDs would be required?
The ID used is dependent on the type of Subscriber. Please see below for the different types of subscribers:
|Subscriber Type||Definition||ID Required|
|1.||Existing and Potential Individual Subscribers||Anyone who resides in Ghana and currently using a SIM card or who intends to use a SIM Card||Ghana Card|
|2.||Existing and Potential Business Subscribers||Any Business operating in Ghana and using SIM Cards and new Businesses intending to own and use SIM cards in future.||Business Certificate of Incorporation|
|3.||Existing and Potential Foreign Subscribers||Foreigners in or travelling into the country|
|Resident in Ghana||Passport or Ghana Card for Foreign Nationals|
|On a short visit less than 90 days (ECOWAS nationals and other nationals)||Passport or ECOWAS Card|
|Want to roam on a Ghanaian network with a foreign SIM Card.||N/A|
- What happens if my Ghana Card is lost?
- Your Ghana Card is needed to complete the SIM Registration Process.
- As long as you have the key information that was captured when you were registering for the Ghana Card, you can complete Stage 1 of the SIM Registration.
- However, we advise that you get a replacement Ghana Card as it will be needed for Stage 2 of the Registration.
- If Ghana Card is to be used, what happens to those who do not have the Ghana Card?
- The NIA is opening Regional and District Offices to enable Ghanaians who have not registered for their Ghana Cards to be able to do so.
- In addition, those who have registered but have not picked up their Ghana Cards should be able to do so from the various NIA offices.
- Is the SIM Registration Mandatory?
Yes, from 1st October, 2021, all SIM Cards should be registered in line with the new registration procedures.
- What happens after the deadline for the registration?
- There will be a review of the SIM Registration project to determine the next steps.
- But it should be noted that SIMs that have not been registered in accordance with these new directives and guidelines will be removed from the networks.
- How many SIM cards can one register?
See below the various limits for SIM Card ownership:
– Limit of 10 SIM Cards across all networks
– Limit of 3 SIM Cards across all networks for Visiting Foreigners
– Limit of 10 SIM Cards across all networks for Resident Foreigners
– No Limit on SIM Cards for Businesses
- Won’t the fact that there is no limit for Businesses defeat the purpose of the SIM Registration?
- No. Please note that each SIM Card will be linked to a Business Operating Certificate and the Ghana Card of one of the business entity’s listed directors to make it easy (on the production of a court order) to identify the owner of a SIM Card.
- The general public is cautioned to avoid hiding behind Businesses to register as many SIM Cards as they want as ALL SIM Cards registered to a Business will be linked to the Ghana Card of a Listed Director.
- How long will it take for one to register?
- The whole process should take approximately 7 to 8 minutes for your SIM to be registered.
- For Existing Registrations
- Stage 1 (Linking Ghana Card to SIM Card via USSD) – 4 minutes
- Stage 2 (Bio-capture via SIM Registration app) – 4 minutes
- For New Registrations
- Entire Process (via SIM Registration app) – 5 minutes
- What would happen to the old mobile money registrations?
The MNOs will ensure that the relevant SIM registration will be linked to the Mobile Money accounts.
- Some MNOs had asked their customers to register their SIM Cards. What happens to the validity of their registration with regards to update of their records?
- Subscribers who have registered their SIM Cards will have to register in line with the new directives.
- The MNOs will endeavour to comply with the current requirements and directives for the national SIM Registration exercise.
- Will numbers change or old numbers will be maintained?
The SIM Registration exercise will not result in a change of numbers. You will still be using your same numbers.
- Will we require new SIM cards?
No, you will not require new SIM Cards.
- Will this be the final registration or do we have to register again after some years?
- The Government is hopeful that this Registration exercise will be the last one to be held. That is why utmost attention is being paid to ensure that the relevant processes are all in place before the exercise begins.
- The Government has engaged all relevant stakeholders involved in this exercise and all parties have worked assiduously to fill all likely gaps for the particular exercise based on lessons learnt from the previous exercise conducted.
- Will Registering my SIM Card give me ownership of the SIM forever?
- As long as you keep the SIM card active, it is yours.
- SIM Cards that are inactive for over a period of 90 days will be churned as per laid down policies.
- This applies to Resident Foreign Nationals who have registered their SIM Cards with a Non-Citizen Ghana Card.
- Foreign Nationals who register a SIM Card with their Passports or ECOWAS Cards will have the SIM only activated for use for only 30 days. This can only be extended twice more for a period of 30 days each time after re-applying and providing evidence of their extended stay to their Service Provider. At the end of which the SIM Card will be de-activated.
- We keep on Registering our SIM Cards. Why? I have registered my SIM Cards more than twice, why are you asking me do so again?
- The Government has only conducted one previous registration exercise and that was in 2010/2011 National SIM Registration Exercise.
- What happens to inactive SIM cards? Can they be re-registered?
- Inactive SIM Cards as per the NCA’s directives to the MNOs are churned for re-use.
- Only SIM Cards which have been biometrically registered will be connected to the network after the deadline.
- If your SIM Card is inactive, contact your service provider and ensure to register it unless of course you do not want to use the SIM Card again.
- How do I de-link a SIM Card from my Ghana Card if I no longer wish to use it? How long will it take to do this?
- You will be required to visit your service provider and follow their instructions on how to de-link your SIM Card from your Ghana Card.
- Please check with your Service Provider to find out how long it will take.
- Can I register more than one SIM card with the same ID card?
Yes, you can register more than one SIM Card with the same ID.
- How many SIM cards can I register on one network?
- Please note that you can own 10 SIM Cards across all the networks (AirtelTigo, Busy, Glo, MTN, Surfline, Telesol and Vodafone).
- For Consumer choice, you decide which networks to spread the 10 SIM Cards across.
- Can I register a SIM card for each network?
Yes, you can register a SIM Card for each network if you so wish.
- I have over 5 SIM cards. Can I register all of them at once with the USSD?
No. Each SIM card will uniquely be registered.
- How can NCA determine the number of SIMs that have been registered?
The NCA will receive daily updates from MNOs and BWAs on SIM cards registered.
- Do I need to re-register after porting to a different network?
When you decide to port your number to a different network, you will be required to go to the new network provider with your ID as pertains.
- Will the registration affect already ported numbers?
Yes, already ported numbers will have to be registered once the exercise starts on 1st October, 2021.
- Will the registration affect tariffs?
No. The registration will not affect the tariffs for communication services.
- Can a minor/under age register?
- The Government has noted that as a result of the pandemic, more and more younger people are using connected devices for their online educational activities.
- To accommodate this, and in cognisance of the importance of communications services, the age for owning a SIM Card is set at 15 years.
- If not, can one register for a minor?
- For people younger than 15 years of age, it will be necessary for them to have an adult register for them. The adult should be a parent or guardian of the individual who is less than 15 years of age.
- Again, we caution everyone to ensure that they do not use their Ghana Card, Business document or Passport to register a SIM Card for unknown people as you may be held responsible if the SIM is found to have committed fraudulent activities.
- How long does it take to receive feedback from MNOs on details submitted (notice of completion of the validation of SIM Registration information)?
The MNOs are to ensure all enquiries and deliverables relating to the *404# is received promptly within 3 minutes.
- Can one register using a feature phones?
Yes. The *404# works on both feature and smart phones.
- How do I retrieve the unique code after it gets deleted?
You can dial *400# to retrieve the unique code.
- When you get to the biometric stage and the process gets terminated, do you have to restart from the USSD or continue from the biometric stage?
Once you completed the USSD successfully before proceeding to the biometric stage, there will not be the need to restart from the USSD stage.
- Do Passports have biometric details attached to them and whether ACCUITY is able to verify the fingerprint details.
Yes. Biometric Passports have fingerprints details captured in them and yes, ACCUITY have appropriate tools and systems to verify the fingerprints.
- Are digital addresses necessary for the registration exercise?
Yes. Kindly remember to come along with your digital address to complete your SIM card registration process.
- Is there an alternative way for biometric capture for amputees?
Yes. All persons can still register their SIM cards once they have a valid Ghana Card.
- What should be done when one tries registering and gets a feedback of “system is busy”
- Please you may have to wait awhile and try again. If it persists then you should contact your MNO. Sometimes it might be a network connectivity issue otherwise you should not face challenges going through the process.
- The MNOs will continue to work on their network to ensure everyone is able to register.
- How do you edit details entered during the First stage (USSD) of the SIM re-registration process?
It is not possible to edit details entered into the USSD. If you make a mistake while entering your details, you would have to restart the USSD process with correct details after which you can proceed to the next stage to complete your registration.
- What happens to those of us yet to receive our Ghana cards?
- The deadline for the SIM registration exercise is 30th September, 2022. From 1st October, 2021 to 30th September, 2022, subscribers would have had a full year to follow up on their Ghana Card. Kindly contact the NIA offices to get your Ghana Card if you do not have one yet.
- The NIA has announced measures to ensure that everyone gets the Ghana Card. Please ensure to get your Ghana Card from the NIA before the deadline of the SIM registration exercise.
- It turns out that when asked to enter the Ghana Card number, subscribers omit the preceding GHA- because they assumed they only had to enter the numbers
- Please note that you will need to include the GHA alphabets preceding the PIN on your Ghana Card as you enter your details on the USSD. However, you do not need to enter the hyphens in the PIN on the Ghana card.
- You would receive error message if you fail to enter the GHA preceding the PIN or include the hyphens in the PIN of your Ghana card.
- What about disabled or aged people with mobility challenges? What provisions are being made for handicapped consumers during the registration process?
- There are no special arrangements assigned for people with disabilities, however, the MNOs are to ensure that their office premises for the SIM reregistration are compliant and friendly to the peculiar needs of people with disabilities.
- The beauty about this is that most of the Operators have agents who are mobile and can move to any location easily.
- We also advise that calls can be made to the Operators to request for assistance and they will help. It will be useful for subscribers to indicate their location to enable the operator identify the closest agent to assist them.
- What happens to pre-registered SIM cards?
- The SIM registration exercise will ensure that pre-registered or SIMs registered in-correctly are taken off the network.
- The NCA will be conducting regular audit inspections of the MNOs to ensure compliance.
- But I have been using my pre-registered SIM Card for over 3 years. How Can I register it in my name as I have been using it for a lot of my transactions? How would change of ownership be done for existing subscribers?
- One of the objectives for this exercise is to erase or delete SIMs which cannot be accounted for in terms of ownership and to ensure that each SIM Card is tied to a valid ID.
- For subscribers who find themselves in this situation, all they need to do is to inform their Service Provider who will then let them submit some documentation or provide evidence to support their claim before the SIM Card can be registered in their name.
- For subscribers of MTN and Glo who are facing such challenges, if they are unable to link their Ghana Card to the SIM Card, the network will send them a message to inform them that they will be called with a specific number to go through some security procedures.
- For subscribers of Vodafone and AirtelTigo who are facing such challenges, if they are unable to link their Ghana Card to the SIM Card, the network will send them some security questions related to their use of the SIM Card.
- We encourage subscribers in this situation to contact their Service Provider. All existing MNOs have standard operating procedure for establishing ownership and effecting change of SIM card ownership. This is to ensure the registration is properly done in compliance with the new registration exercise.
- I lost a family member and I have been receiving calls on their SIM related to their work or to the family? How can I register the SIM in my name?
- The loss of a loved one always creates the need to continue communicating with regards to their friends or business partners.
- When such a situation occurs, subscribers are advised to submit the Letters of Administration for the estate of the deceased and the SIM Card will then be registered accordingly. Where the subscriber’s name is not on the Letters of Administration, they will need the person(s) designated in the Letters of Administration to write an Authority Letter to the Service Provider requesting them to register the SIM Card in the name of the one who want to keep on using the SIM Card.
- In a Business environment, the Business can easily request the Service Provider to link the SIM Card to the Ghana Card of another Listed Director.
- I am a Ghanaian living outside, on peacekeeping, official assignment outside and I still use my Ghana SIM Card. How can I register my SIM Card as I do not want to lose the number?
- We recognise that this is an issue which affects a number of Ghanaians. We encourage subscribers in such situations to endeavour to complete Stage 1 (via USSD) of the SIM Registration process for existing subscribers. The NCA has been engaging the relevant Agency and working on modalities to avoid people in this category losing their SIM Cards.
- How would the registration affect and curb Mobile Money fraud?
- We are hopeful that with each SIM connected to a valid ID; Ghana Card, Business Registration Certificate or foreign Passport, the perpetrators of these fraud will no longer have any hiding place and will be forced to stop the fraudulent activities.
- This is possible as fraudsters will be identified with their mobile numbers because each subscriber’s mobile number is tied to his or her ID card/ Passport details.
- After the registration, will we still be required to present ID cards for mobile money transactions?
That will depend on the operational policies of the MNOs offering these services.
- What information will be required from me for the SIM Registration?
|No.||Required Information for SIM Registration|
|5||Date of Birth|
|6||Physical and Digital Address|
|9||Account number for BWA Subscribers|
- Does my information have to match the information I gave when registering for my Ghana Card? And what happens if some of the information I provide does not match?
- Yes. This is necessary to ensure that the identity of the person is verified for SIM Ownership.
- Registration officials will expect that you produce your Ghana Card. They will then verify if the card you presented is authentic.
- As mentioned earlier, if you have misplaced your Ghana Card, or do not have one, kindly contact the NIA for a replacement or to be issued one.
- What happens if some of the information I provide does not match?
You will be informed by your Service provider or their Agent and you may need to visit the NIA to resolve this.
- How do I register my Data SIMs since it does not have a dialler and I can’t use it to send a USSD?
- If you have any SIM being used in a device for services including internet/data/mifi services, please note that the mode of registration will be like that of the new SIM Registration.
- Kindly verify the specific process for this from your Service Provider.
- What devices will be used for the SIM Registration?
- For phase 1, there will be no special devices to be used from the Existing Subscriber’s point as the first process will be done via USSD on the Subscriber’s own device.
- Agents will be using a device which has been loaded with the SRA for:
- For phase 2 of the registration process for existing subscribers
- For the entire registration process for new subscribers
- For the entire registration process for new and existing BWA Subscribers.
- What self-help procedures are in place for the SIM Registration?
A number of procedures have been developed to help the subscriber. They include:
|Subscriber Query||Short Code||Cost|
|1||The status of my SIM Card registration||400||No Cost|
|2||To Register Your SIM Card||404||No Cost|
- How can I as an Individual check the SIM Cards which have been linked to my Ghana Card? How can Business Entities also check which SIM Cards are registered in the name of the Business, given that some Businesses may have over 100 SIM Cards for their operations?
Individuals and Businesses are kindly check with your Service Provider for how you can verify SIMs registered in your name and with your Ghana Card.
- Is internet connectivity required for the SIM Registration?
- Internet connection is not required for the first stage(USSD) of the Registration process for Existing Subscribers.
- However, for the second part of the Registration process for Existing Subscribers and the entire Registration process for New Subscribers, Internet Connectivity is required as the Agents who will be undertaking this will be using the SRA.
- What about areas with no Internet?
- The SRA is designed in such a way that the app can store a number of SIM Registrations and hold them on the system.
- When the Agent gets to a point where they can connect to the internet, the stored registration information will be sent to the MNOs for processing.
- Won’t my information be compromised if it is stored on the SRA?
- No, the SRA is designed in such a way that the information it captures is not stored on the device but is transmitted instantly to the MNOs for the verification.
- In the areas with no internet connectivity, the information is cached in the App and not on the device so as soon as the Agent is able to connect to the internet, the information is transmitted and removed from the App.
- How will I know that I have completed each stage of the SIM Registration?
- Short Code 400 has been provisioned to enable Existing and New Subscribers check if their SIM Cards have been duly registered.
- On dialling *400# the following information will be given to the Subscriber:
|Pre-Registration||Before Start of Registration Process||Subscriber Name Only||Existing Subscriber|
|Stage 1||After Completion of USSD||Subscriber NameUnique Code||Existing Subscriber|
|Stage 2||After Completion of USSD & Biometric Capture||Subscriber NameUnique CodeB-Cap (Biometric capture)||Existing and New Subscriber|
- What feedback will I get from *400# if the SIM Card has been registered in the name of a Business?
- Business Name
- Date of Incorporation
- Unique Code
- Name of Listed Director whose Ghana Card is linked to the SIM Card
- How will I identify the various MNOs’ agent for SIM registration as a subscriber and how can I ensure that the agent is verified?
- MNO agents registering SIM cards will have a unique ID. If you are in doubt, kindly contact your Service Provider.
- Can any MNO agent register a subscriber irrespective of the subscriber’s network?
- Please ensure to find out from the agent which networks he or she is an agent of.
- How can I be sure that the agent is using the right app to capture my details?
- The MNOs have ensured that their Agents are duly registered with them and trained accordingly. These agents have been used by the MNOs for the SIM Registration and Mobile Money transactions among other things.
- The SIM Registration process also ensures that their backend processes identifies the ID of the Agent registering a SIM such that if an issue occurs, the Agent can be traced.
- Subscribers are advised to check or verify from the Service Provider if they are in any way concerned about an agent.
- I’ve heard that the SIM registration app does likeness and liveliness tests; could you kindly tell me more about these?
- Likeness: During the SIM registration process, a photograph of the subscriber will be compared to a picture on the Ghana card for face identification.
- Liveliness: This will be a live image for the Liveliness test to prevent people from using photographs to register for the SIM Card.
- What information will be stored on the SIM Register?
|2||Business Name (where applicable)||N/A||N/A||Yes|
|3||Certificate of Incorporation Number (where applicable)||N/A||N/A||Yes|
|6||Date of Birth||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|9||Date of Expiry||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|12||NIA Digital Address (obtained from NIA)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|13||Digital Address (captured during registration)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|17||Date of Registration (*404#)||Yes||Yes||N/A|
|20||Date – Time of verification (biometric verification)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
- Why are we collecting the biometric data? Why is there the need for the Stage 2 or the Bio-Capture?
- In the second stage the biometrics of the subscriber are captured to indeed, verify if the Subscribers who submitted their information via the USSD are indeed who they claim to be.
- The SIM Registration Process is similar to a 2 factor authentication process. The SIM Cards are being registered with the Ghana Card. Remember a fraudulent person or someone could have access to your Ghana card and register a SIM Card in your name without your knowledge.
- In the first stage where some details including the Ghana Card PIN are forwarded, a partial verification is done to associate the SIM with a Ghana Card.
- So the second stage or the Bio-capture authenticates the first stage as it eliminates any possible fraud which may have occurred during the first stage of the registration process by.
- Adding another layer by making sure that the SIM Card that was linked to a specific Ghana Card and which received a UNIQUE Code belongs to the owner of the Ghana Card. Visiting the office is another step to make sure you are the one that did the verification.
- Preventing another person from using someone’s Ghana Card details to register a SIM Card for fraudulent or criminal purposes.
- Where will the biometric data be kept?
The data will be stored in the Central SIM Register established by the National Communications Authority and domiciled at the National Information Technology Agency.
- Which entity has been designated by the MoCD to store the SIM Registration database?
As mentioned earlier, the data will be stored in the Central SIM Register established by the National Communications Authority and domiciled at the National Information Technology Agency.
- After the biometric data has been verified by the NIA, what will be the process to ensure that the biometric data is deleted? What will also be the process to delete my biometric data if I am no longer using the SIM Card?
- The biometric data being collected will only be deleted after they have been matched against the biometrics collected and stored at the NIA.
- For subscribers who will no longer be using a SIM Card, they will have to visit their service provider to go through a process to delink their Ghana Card or relevant ID from a SIM Card. This will also trigger a process from the MNOs to the SIM Registry to delete the details of the subscriber from the Register.
- For Foreigners who use the SIM Card for a short period, the MNO is required to delete the registration details of the subscriber after the 30-day period.
- MNOs will also be required to delete the details of all subscribers after the legal period of inactivity of a SIM Card and before a SIM is churned for use.
- Will the Data Protection Commission be involved in this exercise?
Yes, the Commission has been part of the entire process and play a role to ensure that all possible Data Protection issues related to the exercise are addressed and data breaches are mitigated.
- Are we certain that the registration can be done within the given period?
We are optimistic that the 2-month extension period will be adequate for the exercise. However, the outcome will be assessed at the end of exercise and the next steps will be communicated.
- Can you please explain Executive Instrument (E.I) 63?
- E.I. 63 directs Network Operators and Service Providers providing services over Communication Networks to establish Equipment Identity Registers.
- Further to this, all Network Operators and Service Providers are to connect to the Centralised SIM and Equipment Identity Registers established by Government, and to verify the Identity Document from the issuing Agency before accepting same for the registration of Subscriber Numbers, SIM cards and terminal equipment.
- The Centralised SIM and Equipment Identity Registers and databases shall be hosted by an Institution designated by the Government of Ghana.
- The Common Platform (CP) already has a server which captures transactions of all calls. It is this same Common Platform providing services for SIM registry. How can I be convinced or assured as a consumer that my SIM details will not be matched to transactions?
- The server for the CP is different from that of SIM Registry.
- It should also be noted that the information that goes to the CP has all the SIMs hashed, meaning that no one can identify specific numbers of the call transactions that go to the CP. Indeed, the MNOs also have a mirror server to verify that the call transaction records that go to the CP have all the SIMs hashed.
- As a result, it is impossible for a connection or link to be made between the SIM details on the SIM Registry and call transaction records at the CP.
- Will the SIM registry be used to track subscribers?
No. the central SIM registry does not have the capability of tracking subscribers since
the call data records of subscribers are not stored in the registry.
- Of what use is the data that is being kept at the SIM Registry?
- The Centralised SIM and Equipment Identity Register (EIR) will aid government’s effort to curb SIM-boxing which results in loss of revenue, Electronic Money Fraud, SIM and other cyber-related offences and to help tackle emergency situations in the country.
- Data collected or stored at the Registry will help enhance law enforcement and national security.
- Can you give examples of countries with a SIM Registry?
- South Africa
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates – For individuals, the SIM expires when your ID expires. Foreigners are to present their passports and visas for the registration hence SIM expires when Visa expires.