There has been lately fierce competition among the three mobile Operators in Egypt in selling mobile lines at competitive prices. As a result, some market agents and distributors have failed to sell mobile lines without obtaining users’ personal data or selling them with incorrect data. Hence, a number of mobile lines that lacked personal data were registered in mobile Operators’ databases.
This has resulted in the perpetration of crimes such as phone harassment and perpetration of certain crimes using mobile phones. In fact, had the mobile line that committed such harassment or crimes been identified, it would have been impossible to determine the line user due to the lack of accurate personal data about him (that was not obtained on buying it).
Within the framework of the NTRA’s keenness to eliminate and curb these crimes, the NTRA has cooperated closely with Communications Police in order to carry out regular inspection of the distributors’ outlets to determine those violating law and regulations.
In addition, Dr. Tarek Kamel, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, held a meeting with Dr. Amr Badawy, the NTRA’s Executive President, and the NTRA’s sector heads and the mobile Operators’ chief executives. A new regulation was laid out for the registration of consumers’ personal data in the Operators’ database.
The NTRA has announced that a new policy for the sale of mobile lines by mobile Operators (Mobinil-Vodafone-Etisalat) and their agencies will be applied and will be effective from May 2nd 2010. This ensures the availability of complete and correct data of all mobile lines sold in all Egyptian markets. This will take place as follows
• The mobile lines available in the distributors’ outlets will be permitted only to make calls to the Operator’s call center (inactive line).
• On buying a mobile line from the Operators’ authorized distributors, the buyer should enter into a contract with the distributor. The contract should include the buyer’s personal data (as per his ID card) and a copy of his ID card should be obtained after the distributor verifies the buyer’s identity.
• The buyer shall call through the new line the Operator’s call center only in order to activate the line (active line) after the Operator’s call center verifies the personal data registered in the Operator’s database.
• As for the current users, all mobile Operators shall review their personal data in order to correct, update and complete the data of the current users’ lines
The implementation of this new regulation of registration of the mobile users’ data (used in selling and activating the mobile lines) guarantees that a mobile line will not activated until the customer’s correct data is registered in the Operators’ database. Moreover, this will ensure the Operators’ access to the subscribers’ data the moment the client obtains the SIM card as a complete network has been established to connect the mobile operators with the authorized distributors. In addition, a network has been established to connect the mobile operators with the Civil Status Organization with the aim of inquiring about the clients’ correct data and comparing them with their personal data obtained prior to the service activation of their SIM cards. This new regulation will guarantee that all the data available in the Operators’ databases is complete and accurate.
On the other hand, the clients’ purchase of mobile lines without entering into official contracts will deprive them of availing themselves of the complete service benefits due to the lack of their personal data. In fact, selling mobile lines without entering into official contracts registered in the Operators’ database is considered a violation of the provisions of Article (64) of Telecommunication Regulation Law No. 10 of 2003 that stipulates that “telecommunication Service Providers and Operators and their marketing agents shall have the right to collect accurate information and data concerning Users from individuals and various entities within the State”. The violation of the provisions of this Article is punished as per the provisions of Article (81) of same law that stipulates that “a penalty of confinement to prison and a fine of not less than ten thousand pounds and not exceeding one hundred thousand pounds shall be inflicted on whoever violates any of the provisions of article (64) of this law”.
Thus, the NTRA calls upon the mobile subscribers to cooperate effectively therewith in implementation of the new regulation in order to preserve the privacy and security of citizens and complete the Operators’ database that includes the names and complete personal data of mobile subscribers as per Telecommunication Regulation Law (No. 10/ 2003). The NTRA states it clear that the service of any mobile line, with no available complete data, will be disconnected.
It is worth-mentioning in this respect that the registration of subscribers’ personal data through their ID card has been applied in the majority of countries throughout the world in the last two years as the regulatory bodies in an attempt of these countries to remedy and correct affairs. The regulatory bodies have been verifying regularly the subscribers’ personal data as the mobile phone have been used on a large scale in committing electronic crimes locally and internationally.