Re-registration of SIM cards: Where do we stand?

Expat news
Published on 2024-04-18 at 09:04
The deadline for re-registering SIM cards has been pushed back in favor of maintaining the status quo, preventing the state from deactivating unregistered SIM cards before April 30th.

Deadline extended

Yesterday marked a significant victory in the legal standoff over mandatory SIM card re-registration. Chief Justice Rehana Mungly-Gulbul ruled in favor of maintaining the status quo, thereby prohibiting the state from deactivating SIM cards of subscribers who haven't complied with the April 30th deadline. As the deadline approaches, telecommunications operators are stepping up efforts to urge their customers to comply with the regulations. Calls, messages, and even special offers are being deployed to encourage reluctant individuals to take action.

As a reminder, since last October, Mauritians, residents, and tourists in Mauritius have been required to register their SIM cards in accordance with the new regulations of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA). These measures were implemented to ensure that each SIM card is registered in the name of its user, to strengthen the fight against fraud, identity theft, and malicious activities. However, this re-registration process has sparked considerable debate since last year. Activists particularly denounce the lack of transparency from the government, and the need to disclose sensitive information to operators, which they see as a risk to privacy.

Planned protests

With nearly a million SIM cards already re-registered out of two million, the court's decision provides relief for those who have not yet done so. Additionally, it spares the government from an embarrassing situation just before its May 1st gathering. However, this temporary victory does not mark the end of the debate. The "Pa Tous Nou SIM Card" platform is organizing a peaceful demonstration on Sunday, April 21st, while the case will be thoroughly examined by the Supreme Court on May 13th. In the meantime, all parties are required to submit their written arguments by May 8th, in preparation for the hearing before the Full Bench of the Supreme Court. This urgent decision comes as the Court has been on break since the end of March, underscoring the importance of this issue for Mauritians.