NTC eyes 45 satellite SIM registration sites

The National Telecommunications Commission said Friday it had identified 45 remote areas in 15 regions of the country to put up satellite SIM registration sites.

NTC Officer-in-Charge, Commissioner Ella Blanca B. Lopez, said the move would increase the pace of daily SIM registrations so that all cards will be duly registered before the deadline.

“It is vital that we maintain, or better yet increase, the current pace of daily SIM registrations to meet the deadline of 26 April 2023 for all SIMs to be duly registered,” Lopez said.

“Remote areas for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will still be coordinated with the Bangsamoro Telecommunications Commission,” she added.

The NTC presented the list of identified remote places to members of the Inter-Agency Ad Hoc Committee for Facilitation of SIM Registration in Remote Areas during a recent meeting.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Departments of Information and Communications Technology, Interior and Local Government, Education, Public Works and Highways, Philippine Information Agency, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and the Philippine Coast Guard.

The public telecommunication entities, for their part, will be tasked to check the operational feasibility of the plan. They should provide the Commission with feedback by 20 January.

Members of the Inter-Agency Ad Hoc Committee agreed to assist as telcos visit the remote areas to register the SIMs.

According to Lopez, all government agencies involved would ensure that the SIM Law, which was President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s first signed law, would be successfully implemented.

The NTC proposed to launch a simultaneous roll-out of SIM registration activities in the areas identified starting Wednesday next week, 25 January.

Based on consolidated NTC data as of 18 January, a total of 22.29 million SIM cards have been registered — representing 13.20 percent of the total 168 million active SIM subscribers as of September 2022.

The NTC said that DITO Telecommunity Corp. had 1.84 million successful SIM registrations, while Globe Telecom Inc. had 9.33 million and Smart Communications Inc., 11.11 million.

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