Providers of pre-activated SIM cards face suspension

By Luu Quy   March 15, 2023 | 07:30 pm PT
Providers of pre-activated SIM cards face suspension
A seller holds SIM cards in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy
The Ministry of Information and Communications has announced that it will suspend network providers found distributing pre-activated SIM cards or cards registered under incorrect personal info.

The providers need to publish on their websites a list of authorized salespoints, and they must also ensure that their employees only register subscribers who submit personal details in line with the national database, the ministry’s Telecommunications Authority announced Tuesday.

The moves comes as part of a government effort to make sure that phone subscriber data matches the national database. Millions of subscribers have been using pre-activated SIM cards registered under false information for years.

Some salespeople even sell thousands of SIM cards registered with the same data, and buyers continue to use them without ever updating the info.

Pre-registered SIM cards are taken advantage of by many businesses for cold calling purpose. The Hanoi Department of Information and Communications last year had to request network providers to suspend 882 subscribers from making spam calls and sending mass text messages to advertise their products or services.

Network providers have been ordered to send text messages to falsely registered subscribers asking them to make corrections. After 15 days, if no changes are made, the user will be locked from making calls, while still being able to receive calls.

There are 127 million phone subscribers in Vietnam, 96% of them belonging to VinaPhone, Viettel and MobiFone.

Each of these three providers has 1.1 million to 1.4 million phone subscriptions with data that needs to be corrected.

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