Deadline looms for prepaid mobile users in Thailand to register

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All users of prepaid mobile phones in Thailand will have to register the phone numbers before July 31st this year or face having their service suspended. That’s according to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC).

 

Mobile users must register SIM cards

The secretary general of the NBTC, Thakorn Tanthasit, has said that February 1st is the first day when registration will begin and that strict enforcement is required for registering phones, either with the operators themselves, or alternatively at Krungthai Bank, superstores like Tesco Lotus and Big C, and 7-11 stores. It will be interesting to see how they cope with the expected deluge of people flooding in to register.

NBTC Secretary General

The NBTC secretary general.

The Nation reports that there are 110 million active mobile phone numbers in Thailand, 90% of which are prepaid. However, only 10% of users are registered.

RELATED: Mandatory SIM registration for ALL prepaid phones in Thailand

Apparently, mobile users in Thailand “will be given six months to register” or the mobile operators have been instructed to suspend the service for anyone that does not comply. Why? Well it’s all to do with preventing use of mobile prepaid phones in situations related to national security.

Existing SIM registration law ignored

NBTC commissioner Prawit Leesathapornwongsa statted that the requirement for prepaid users to register had in fact been law for quite a long time but has not been strictly implemented. The current law says that users must register before a new number can be activated, however that has until now been ignored by the mobile phone companies. However, he did say that the new rules are rather unfair to customers, so to “soften the blow”, the NBTC may relax the requirements, for example by preventing anyone not registered from topping up.

We’re not quite sure how registering is supposed to prevent incidents of national security, as anyone could simply steal a phone if they’re intending to commit a crime, or perhaps even buy a prepaid phone in another country and activate international roaming.

We’re not also sure why the “strict deadline” of February the first seems to contradict the other statement that “users will be given six months to register”. Your guess is as good as ours.

If you have not registered and you use a prepaid/top-up mobile phone, then pop down to Big C or 7-11 tomorrow and ask to provide your details. We suspect you’ll be greeted with blank stares.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Let us know in the comments below whether you intend to register, or perhaps you have done so already?

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19 Comments

  1. bruceeverett on

    What if you are out of the country during this time, how could a person have thier number registered?

  2. DocJohnnie99 on

    Two points: How do I know if I am already registered, and can I have Larry’s job, based in the UK, copying form the Bangkok Post. Thanks.

  3. What does registration mean – surely the service provider ‘registers’ you when you buy a pre-paid SIM. I know I had to provide my passport and work permit when I got mine 6 years ago with AIS. Does that mean I’m ‘registered’

  4. Torben LUND on

    Many years ago, during Taksins time there was a similar drive to register, which I did. I presume AIS have lost the information_

  5. Adrian Martin on

    Maybe the Thai version of this story is different, but it’s clear that registration STARTS February 1st and you then have 6 MONTHS to get it done.

  6. Rudy Sovinee on

    I supplied all the information when I first bought my SIM card over 7 years ago upon arriving in Thailand. It was with AIS, and I bought it at the airport. Last week I checked and found my card was an older version being phased out. Because I rarely go to the city, AIS service (1175) took my name and address and mailed me an upgraded SIM card.
    Today, seeing this article, I called 1175 again. No, my card needs to be registered. No, their having my address was insufficient. No, the fact that for 7+ years I have filled out Immigration 90-Day reports listing the same number, and linked to my passport and address was not sufficient, and NO, they actually had no record that my original SIM card had been registered either – despite my having filled out the passport information those many years ago at the airport.

    … and the final kicker?
    Yes, I would need to get to one of their shops and register the SIM… which was what I had sought to avoid by them mailing me a replacement just last week.

  7. Time Traveller on

    “We’re not quite sure how registering is supposed to prevent incidents of national security, as anyone could simply steal a phone if they’re intending to commit a crime, or perhaps even buy a prepaid phone in another country and activate international roaming.” —-

    Yes that says it all really. Just how ineffective, inept and pointless most of the the government regulations are in Thailand. Our only hope is if the criminals are actually dumber than the Thai leaders….I’m afraid they’re not

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  9. Richard Mcallister on

    Rules, rules and more rules but no democracy … and ‘Time Traveller’ did you say Government?

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  11. Terry Crofts on

    What about travellers, when you lad at airport there is always a phone shop where you buy a phone etc. Overseas travellers will have to register????. If not then anyone can go buy and do the protesting as normal

  12. could you register 2 phone number/ could you just use a friends phone that is already registered?
    thank you for you replys

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  16. Gordon Bennett on

    Can anyone tell me why we have to register other than if we don’t we’ll not be able to use our phones? I mean what is the reasoning behind all this?