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

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,