May 10, 2018—This morning Airtel Uganda announced it has resumed the sale of new SIM cards across select outlets across the country.
The announcement comes soon after the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) lifted the ban on the issuance of new SIM cards until equipment to verify authenticity of the card owners is made available.
Following a spate of brutal killings, during which the criminals kept switching SIM cards to avoid police surveillance and detection, the government told UCC to clampdown on the sale of new SIM cards, especially along the streets.
Company managing director, V.G Somasekhar said, “The communication from Uganda Communications Commission will allow our customers; both new and existing to get new SIM cards faster and more conveniently. Our new subscribers across the country can acquire and register to join our network while existing customers can replace lost SIM cards at over three hundred points countrywide. We have authorised points of distribution and Airtel shops in all regions.”
He made assurances about the company’s commitment to both its customers and the regulatory procedure. Speaking during a news conference, Somasekhar said the company also announced an increase in the number of centres where its customers can acquire new SIM cards and get replacements. Previously, customers could swap misplaced SIM cards and acquire new ones from major Airtel service centres. but with the announcement, they can now do this at over 300 authorised centres which include agent locations and Airtel shops countrywide.
Somasekhar went on to elaborate the requirements for both SIM card acquisition and replacement. To acquire a new Airtel SIM card, one must present an original National identity card if they are Ugandan, a passport for foreigners, refugee card for refugees.
In addition, the individual has to present a letter from Police valid for 21 days of issuance stating the loss of the SIM card for a card replacement and an existing line for a 4G swap. New SIMs, replacements and upgrades can only be done by the SIM card owner and not their representatives and cost UGX 2,000 (nearly 55 US cents).