NTA, Nepal Telecommunication Authority, the governing body have issued a notice informing the telecom operators to tighten the sell/distribution process of SIM cards.
Authority have issued this notice with aim to alleviate the fraud caused by illegal distribution of SIM cards. Since, 3 major telecom operators Nepal Telecom, Ncell and Smartel have been battling against each other to become the number one by selling the SIM cards with easy procedure without taking care of the effects it would caused.
How telecom’s are using their mindset’s in selling SIM cards?
SIM cards can be easily bought from stationary, mobile store and even from the grocery store. Even, telecom operators are selling SIM cards in open space by creating a temporary outlets. Also, targeting a certain demographics including SEE students, +2 students and running campaign in colleges/university have also increased the number of SIM cards but without proper verification of the documents.
The easy availability of the SIM cards can hereafter be used illegally. Using to fulfill some aim and discarding the SIM cards is normal in Nepal and in such cases, Ncell and smartel are the leading one. Ncell once a time, they were even distributing the SIM cards without any proper documentation to the public vehicles drivers and even went to colleges and colleges running some “blood donation program” with aiming to sell the SIM cards. I was the one who have got free SIM cards when I was in college just by showing a ID card. But now, they have tighten the SIM card sell/distribution process.
Later, I faced the similar issue with the Nepal telecom. During the year 2007, my relatives have bought me SIM card. Later, I need to made it micro SIM and during that my SIM cards was accidentally damaged. When I visited to telecom office, and when they checked the SIM details, they couldn’t find any name registered on it. This was because, either they didn’t registered properly or couldn’t archive it. If I personally could have done black mailing to the other numbers, Nepal Telecom neither NTA could do anything. This is just one example of many one.
Intervention of NTA’s to stop illegal activities
NTA on June 25 have issued a notice to the telecom operator notifying to take legal/appropriate ways to sell the SIM cards. Since, easily availability/accessibility of SIM cards results in increased the cyber related crime like accessing the others social media account, email and even the banking details. So after this notice, without prior proof and information, telecoms should not sell the SIM cards.
Creating a fake Facebook ID’s with easy availability of SIM cards have result in hike of cyber crime. According to ifex.org, in 2018/19 180 cases of cyber crime were registered in Nepal. Indeed, there is not a exact number where the unauthorized access of SIM cards result in crime however, there is contribution.