The Philippines’ communications regulator agreed to extend its SIM registration deadline as operators struggled to register over half of subscribers, but it will look to limit services to unregistered SIMs.
In a statement, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) announced it will extend the original deadline of April 26 by 90 days.
But SIM cards that are still unregistered could see the following or a combination of restrictions in services: barring access to services, disallowing outgoing calls, and delay in reactivating deactivated SIMs. The regulator said it will consider operator capabilities in delivering those restrictions.
The regulator urged the Philippines’ three operators Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Dito Telecommunity to “recalibrate strategies” to register more subscribers. It will also address operator concerns on identification requirements needed to register but gave no details.
Operators have bemoaned some subscribers don’t have the necessary paperwork to register and requested other forms of ID to be valid.
As of April 24, Globe registered 39.89 million customers out of 86.7 million, the operator revealed in a statement where it noted: “SIM registrations have been slow”. Although there were “millions of daily registrations” when the operator sent emergency alerts before the extension was announced.
PLDT-owned Smart stated on April 18 it had registered 36.5 million customers, which equates to 55% of its subscriber base. The operator launched a range of promotional offers to spur subscribers to sign up.
Dito Telecommunity did not disclose how many subscribers it had registered so far. The operator celebrated gaining 12 million customers in December 2022.