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TRA announces commencement of provisions implementation of SIM Card Registration Regulation issued in 2015

12 Jul 2017

As part of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)’s mission to safeguard citizens and residents of the Kingdom from fraud and identity theft related crimes, the TRA issued the SIM-Card Enabled Telecommunications Services Registration Regulation which was published on the 31st of December 2015. As of July 12, 2017 Service providers in the Kingdom of Bahrain have begun to implement the provisions of this regulation.

The implementation of this regulation comes after the expiration of the deadline specified by TRA for the operators to prepare and implement the provisions related to the registration and verification of user data and identity, including the implementation of the biometric verification process to verify the identity of the applicant.

These procedures have been established in agreement and coordination with operators to implement and meet the needs of the sector. It is worth mentioning that the registration process will consist of two steps to verify the identity of the SIM card user, by presenting the applicant’s identification or passport and conducting the biometric scan.

The regulation has also introduced measures that limits the sale of SIM-cards in shops as the regulation only permits selling SIM-cards through the operators’ outlets and their resellers who obtain a formal approval from TRA to conduct the registration and verification processes on behalf of the mobile operators. Additionally, the regulation introduced a ceiling for the number of pre-paid SIM cards consumers may acquire, which has been set at 10 pre-paid SIM-cards as a maximum from each licensed mobile operators (Batelco, Zain, Viva); as such a total of 30 pre-paid SIM-cards per person can be obtained.

TRA also notes that it launched an awareness campaign for mobile subscribers in 2016, which it communicated a number of educational messages to keep users informed of the importance of controlling the cards registered under their names and not leaving them at the disposal of others. Misuse of a SIM card registered under the consumer’s name by another person may expose the consumer to financial obligations or legal accountability.

For more information, the regulation can be viewed on the TRA’s website under the Regulations Section.

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