Re-register your SIM cards before documents expire
Dubai - Be mindful of SMS from etisalat and du
UAE mobile users are being warned to re-register their SIM cards with etisalat or du before ID documents expire, or face service cancellations.
Residents began registering their SIM cards as part of the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority's (TRA) 'My Number, My Identity' programme in June 2012.
After several phases and extensions, the registration processes at du and etisalat finally came to a close by July 2014.
At the time, TRA said the move was the result of studies that suggested an increase in civil and criminal cases related to the misuse of SIM cards "resulting in serious legal or financial issues for the actual users."
Additionally, TRA noted that SIM cards are "national resources which should be used responsibly."
Now, a year after final registrations took place, UAE users should be mindful of incoming SMS warning them to re-register their SIM cards if their documents are nearing expiration dates.
In a statement sent to Khaleej Times, a TRA spokesperson noted that any transaction tied to a particular document is dependent on its validity.
Which means, if the SIM is registered with a particular document like the passport or Emirates ID, then its validity is dependent on the expiry of that particular document.
"Normally, an expired ID would not be used in completing any transaction" the spokesperson said. "In this regard, TRA has directed licensees (etisalat and du) to enhance their operations and systems to ease and facilitate transaction completion."
Some customers - such as etisalat customer S.S - may be surprised to find that messages come well ahead of time. In her case, an SMS came instructing her to re-register by July 31, despite the fact that her Emirates ID is valid until March.
"I'm not sure why I got this message now, but I registered last year in July," she said. "Mine might have been one of the numbers that comes first, but it could be happening to others."
Customer service representatives from both du and etisalat advised people to head to customer service centres when they receive an SMS, even if it seems early.
"It may be that there is a problem with your documents if it arrives so early," said one customer care rep. "The safest thing to do would be to bring your documents to check."
"It's important that one comes in after receiving the message," said another.
To re-register, customers should carry the original and a copy of their ID document - passport, Emirates ID or GCC National ID - to service centres and authorised dealers.
Additionally, Du customers can check the status of their registration a "STATUS" SMS to 6664, while Etisalat customers can call *171*1#.