Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia welcomes regional SIM proposal

Cambodia welcomes regional SIM proposal

SIM cards sit on the counter of a shop in central Phnom Penh in October.
SIM cards sit on the counter of a shop in central Phnom Penh in October. Pha Lina

Cambodia welcomes regional SIM proposal

The government is considering a proposal for telecommunications regulators in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar to jointly enforce mobile phone SIM card registration in an effort to prevent cross-border fraud and drug trafficking, among other illegal activities.

The Thai-led initiative was initially proposed at last year’s annual meeting of ASEAN telecom regulators and Cambodia has welcomed the prospect of regional cooperation, Im Vutha, director of the regulation and dispute unit at the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), said yesterday.

“It’s a good plan to share data [between countries] and to crack down on crime . . . but we need to discuss more concrete plans on executing this,” he said.

Although Cambodia initiated its own national clampdown on unregistered SIM cards last September, Vutha said mobile operators have not responded to a government directive to confirm the identities of SIM card owners.

“I don’t have any updates on unregistered SIM cards from the operators,” he said, adding that enforcement of the directive is the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior.

Nine months on, many shops in Cambodia continue to sell SIM cards without requiring identification documents from customers.

Prak Sophea, a SIM card retailer at TTN phone shop in Phnom Penh, said some mobile phone companies have left the door open for consumers to purchase SIM cards without registering them.

“A SIM card company told me to ask for IDs from customers, but also to give them the option of registering themselves,” she said, adding that the opt-in approach allows customers to avoid registration.

Som Sineth, a student from Kampong Speu province, claims she purchased a Smart SIM card more than a year ago without providing any identity documents, yet the operator continues to provide service despite the number remaining unregistered.

“I’ve never received any calls from the company asking me for registration ID,” she said. “I’ve also been wondering how nothing has happened to my phone service since the government said that they would crack down on unregistered SIM cards.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,