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Vietnam clamps down on pre-paid SIM cards

Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 21:28 GMT+7

Vietnamese authorities have imposed stricter policies to manage the information of pre-paid SIM card users and have promised to apply harsher fines on service providers that violate the rule.

The new regulations were added to government decree No.49 on penalties for violations in telecommunications, IT, and radio frequencies, which are aimed at improving the management of the sale and use of pre-paid SIM cards in the country.

According to the new regulations, individuals are no longer limited to having no more than three SIM cards for each mobile network as stated previously.

However, users will need to perform a more thorough and complicated procedure when registering for each service.

For the first three SIM cards of each service provider, users are required to present the necessary documents and sign a confirmation letter.

From the fourth SIM card on, buyers will then have to sign a contract with their mobile network operator.

In order to register for a SIM card, users must now submit original copies of passports for foreigners, or IDs for Vietnamese citizens.

Children under 14 years old will require the signature of their parent or guardian to sign up for a service.

Mobile operators have the right to refuse deals with their customers if they fail to present sufficient paperwork as stated in the new regulations.

They are also in charge of reminding existing subscribers to fill in the compulsory information, if they lack any.

If a user fails to submit the necessary documents within 15 days of the first reminder, his one-way telecommunication services will be ceased, and his two-way services will be halted after a subsequent 15 days.

The subscription will be terminated after the next 30 days if the client does not provide the necessary information, after which the mobile number will be offered to other users.

Sterner penalties for operators

Local mobile network operators are also subject to fines of VND800,000 (US$35) to VND1 million ($43.8) for each subscription they offer without asking for the full information of users.

This fine shall not exceed VND200 million ($8,774) for each company, the regulation stated.

Service providers are also required to keep their clients’ information confidential as per the law.

Operators will be fined between VND80 million ($3,509) and VND100 million ($4,387) if they do not sign proper contracts with a subscriber who wishes to buy more than three SIM cards.

A VND30 million ($1,316) to VND40 million ($1,754) penalty will be imposed on those who offer SIM cards without asking for a subscriber’s personal documents, or trade a subscription that has already been registered.

The new regulation was implemented on April 24 following a proposal of the Ministry of Information and Communications, while the fines will begin being imposed from July 24.

In order to check if your SIM card is properly registered or not, send TTTB to the toll-free 1414. This ministry-provided service is available for users of Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone, the country’s leading mobile carriers.

According to mobile carriers, local users should bring their ID cards, and foreigners, their valid passports, to the nearest official stores of their service providers to complete the registration.

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