New law may curb cell number recycling

New law may curb cell number recycling

2011-06-30 16:26

Johannesburg - The cellphone industry might run out of numbers due to the waiting time dictated by the Consumer Protection Act before they can reuse inactive numbers, the SA Communications Forum (SACF) said on Thursday.

"Should the industry now be required to keep all numbers active on their networks for as long as three years - even though it (sic) might have been inactive throughout that time period - then numbers might soon run out," it said in a statement following a submission to the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa).

Currently, in terms of Section 63 of the act, pre-paid vouchers, credit and similar devices should not expire until they are used or for a period of three years after they were issued and this could have the unintended consequence of the industry being unable to recycle numbers.

They explained that currently any consumer that activates a voucher on their phone links the airtime to their cellphone number and companies and other licencees can't recycle or churn the inactive numbers until all the credit has been used, or for a period of three years from the date of issue.

Section 68 of the Electronic Communications Act allows Icasa to develop regulations prescribing a numbering plan for the efficient use and allocation of numbers.

To use numbers more efficiently, the industry changed all its systems to introduce "dynamic" numbering or numberless sims.

The industry has put measures in place to warn consumers about their airtime window periods and the fact that they may lose unused airtime at the expiry date.

The ad hoc working group of the SACF urged Icasa to apply for an industry-wide exemption from Section 63 to address this.

The group also believes that the rate of R1.50 as set to enter an on-air competition should not apply as these competitions account for a considerable portion of the revenue stream for broadcasting service licencees, and especially for community-based broadcasting licencees.

For this, they called for the broadcasting industry to be exempt from Section 36 and the related regulations for on-air competitions. 

  • Gorilla - 2011-06-30 16:59

    Good idea - can we first please get my current number up and running again?

  • Ronin - 2011-06-30 17:15

    Of course! It takes at least 3 years for SAPS to get the telephone records of a criminal, so this makes absolutely sense.

  • Robin - 2011-07-01 08:04

    My question is this - what will happen when the SAP want detail of a sim that has not been properly verified. It has been reported that informal traders have been 'ricaing' sims without the proper documentation and recording addresess based on verbal information. I suggest that there be an ammendment made to the act. Any service provider that has not ensured proper verification of a sim should be held liable, lets say R100 000 fine per sim. I don't see why I had to go through the trouble to provide proper documentation while clearly others have not. Rica is a joke. So lets talk finances and introduce that fine system and see what happens...?

      LBS - 2011-07-01 17:22

      That is what I said all along, imagine all those Hawkers and little booths - don't tell me they are going to go according to the book. Forget it! This whole thing is one big farce!

  • Khalongo - 2011-07-01 08:16

    Good Idea. I've had more unknown people calling me then people I actually know.

  • dgee - 2011-07-13 08:47

    I went with my fiance to provide proof of residence.Self, Id book, utility bill himself and his id -no not good enough -needed a affidavit from police. I walked into police station by myself and made out affidavit to say I of Id such do hereby state that he of id number such lives at this address -- no ids requested, no proof of address - but he isnow Rica'd and fica'd. What a joke.

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