ATRA’s SIM card registration drive: 6.5 mln registered out of 23 mln distributed

KABUL (SW) – Officials at the Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) say that of 23 million SIM cards distributed by five telecommunication networks across the country, 6.5 million SIM cards have been registered under the guidance of this authority.

Jalaluddin Shams, the spokesperson of the ATRA, told Salam Watandar that the registration process for SIM cards is aimed at preventing crimes, security threats, kidnappings, and harassment of people.

However, a number of clients who have come to the representatives of telecommunications companies to register their SIM cards, complaining about the slowness and the time-consuming process of obtaining and registering SIM cards, ask for the establishment of more agencies to register SIM cards.

Shekib Akrami, referring to Etisalat telecommunication company, says, “It has been four days since I came here to Etisalat telecommunication company to register a SIM card; there is no turn. I have been searching for four days and I cannot register my SIM card.”

Ahmad, a client of Roshan Telecommunication Company, also said: “It has been two days since I came to Roshan Telecommunication Company, I do not get any turn; they do not give me any answer. There should be more agencies everywhere to register SIM cards.”

However, the spokesperson of the ATRA says that the authority has ordered all telecommunications companies to send mobile teams to the provinces and increase their employees and facilities for the distribution and registration of SIM cards.

It should be mentioned that before this, unregistered SIM cards were sold on the roads, but the ATRA has stopped this process for some time now, and subscribers can only get registered SIM cards from the headquarters of telecommunications companies.