Bangkok –The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) now requires all cellphone operators to have their users register on personal identity basis, which may call for the verification of the user’s face or the scanning of the user’s fingerprints, starting from 15 December 2017.
Such measures are designed to prevent false claims or the forging of sim cards. The measures will only apply to those who buy new sim cards, either on monthly post-pay or pre-pay basis, and include non-Thai individuals. All existing sim card systems are to be terminated as the country is moving toward a digital era.
In the initial stage, the NBTC has introduced the new procedures in the three southern border provinces plus four adjacent districts of Songkhla province. About 2,000 cellphone users have been legally obliged to register their sim cards at 25 service points throughout the southernmost region under an Emergency Decree. The measure was designed to prevent the use of cellphone sim cards in the possible provocation of unrest. Additionally, such registration has been provided to some 1,000 sim card numbers at five locations in Bangkok.
The main cellphone operators, namely AIS, DTAC, True, TOT and CAT, will provide the registration of sim cards with the pre-pay system at over 60,000 venues throughout the country from 15 December, while those using the monthly post-pay system will be provided for at a later date at various spots nationwide.
Thakorn Tanthasit, secretary general of the NBTC, insisted that individual users’ personal identity data will be safely stored and maintained, and will guarantee safe usage of sim cards.