Posts tagged SIM
The federal government has formally inaugurated registration of Subscriber Identification Model (SIM) card for mobile phone users.
Although SIM card registration started last year across the country, it was being carried out by telecommunication service providers. But the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday in Abuja said the flag off of its own arm of the registration project is significant in many ways. The agency, last year, secured N6 billion from the National Assembly to carry out the registration exercise. “First being that this nation has been waiting for the day when all the SIM cards in use in the country will be registered and the identity of every owner is known,” said Eugene Juwah, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). “This is done in other parts of the world and Nigeria wishes to be like other progressive nations of the world.” Mr. Juwah, who said with the flag off, SIM card registration will begin simultaneously across the country, said deployment of materials have begun.
After the registration, Nigeria would have achieved a central data base for all mobile phone users in Nigeria. He, however, said Nigerians who have already registered their SIMs need not reregister them with the NCC. “Today marks a major step taken by the NCC, to bequeath to our nation, an important tool, a pool of data that will assist other agencies of government, especially the security agencies, and the National Identity Management Commission in carrying out their jobs in the national interest,” he said. The registration exercise will last for a period of six months and registration centres will be opened all over the country.
The NCC boss also stated that users of mobile phones in Nigeria must register their SIM cards with NCC appointed SIM card registration agents nationwide, adding that the unique thing about the NCC registration is that all SIM cards, irrespective of the network, can be registered in one spot where the SIM card registration centres are located.
He noted that no Nigerian or visitor to Nigeria using mobile phones is exempted from this exercise, warning that “at the end of six months of this registration, all unregistered SIM cards will be disconnected from various networks. “The importance of SIM card registration cannot be overemphasized especially at this time of our social, political and economic development and the need to mitigate the current security challenges perpetrated through the use of mobile phones,” said Mr. Juwah.
NCC will deploy 5000 centres across the country and will spend about N6.1 billion already provided in the budget on this project, having appointed Private Networks Nigeria as the service provider for SIM card registration in the north central region and the arrangement with the agents is that they will be paid based on the number of subscribers they register.
Jibril Gbajabiamila, project director of Private Networks Nigeria, said they will deploy materials in every local government and increase the number of registration centres as the need arises.
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 16 (UPI) — Elaborate mobile telephone phone fraud using cellphone subscriber identification module cards for unauthorized phone calls is costing companies operating in Central and South American tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue, mobile anti-fraud specialist Revector said Wednesday.
Revector said the problem was rampant throughout Central and South America, including Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras and throughout the Caribbean region.
There was no immediate indication that law enforcement authorities in any of those countries or outside the region took measures recently to beat the fraud.
But, the company said, mobile networks and government regulators are admitting to staggering annual revenue losses from GSM Gateway or SIM box fraud.
“SIM box” fraud occurs when individuals or organizations buy thousands of SIM cards and then offer customers free or low-cost calls to mobile numbers.
The SIM cards are then used to channel national or international calls from mobile network operators and deliver them as local calls. The scam costs operators lost revenue running into tens of millions of dollars.
Revector that SIM box fraud could easily be setting operators back by $150 million a year in lost revenue.
“We have seen countries where tens of thousands of SIM cards are being used for illegal termination at any one moment,” Revector Chief Executive Officer Andy Gent said.
“Our studies of more than 50 mobile networks over the last two years show that levels of fraud are topping U.S. $150 million annually,” said Gent.
Revector said it has identified illegal SIM box fraud throughout the region and found that, in some cases, SIM cards were generating up to 10 cents per minute for more than 20 days a month, costing an operator up to $3,000 per SIM card per month in lost revenue.
Revector said the problem already existed in Africa. In one particular instance Ghana reported SIM box fraud cost the West African nation $5.8 million in lost taxes.
“Central and South America is likely to exhibit equal or greater levels of fraud where operators have failed to take measures to combat this illegal activity,” said Gent.
The scale of SIM box fraud is driven by the easy availability of GSM gateway hardware and the range of different offers available from mobile network operators. “We have seen countries where tens of thousands of SIM cards are being used for illegal termination at any one moment,” said Gent.
“Operators are letting significant revenues slip through their shareholders’ fingers. Call quality can be severely reduced and standard features such as caller line identity are lost.”
Revector says it offers mobile network operators, regulators and governments a quick way to identify SIM box fraud so that they can suspend fraudulent SIM cards in real time.
Analysts said inappropriate use of SIM cards added to security risks because in most cases the callers remained anonymous.
Founded in 2001, Revector has headquarters in London and operates a global network providing “grey route information” from more than 50 countries. The company says it aims to provide an integral and complementary service that supports existing fraud management systems.
After throwing some Symbian love, AKAI has moved on to the budget users segment by launching a Dual-SIM mobile called Samurai. As with most budget phones, the Samurai is not loaded with awesome features or something, but it does boast of some basic ones.
The Samurai is supposed to have a “marathon” battery life of 7 and half hours of talk time and about 30 days of standby time. The phone also has Hindi and English support which might probably make it a decent option for Hindi-literate users. Here are the specifications of the Samurai:
- 1.8-inch TFT screen
- Digital camera
- Memory expandable up to 2 GB
- FM Radio
- 3.5 mm audio jack
If you’ve noticed, this phone doesn’t have any connectivity options which could be a bummer considering that many cell phone users literally thrive on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Anyway, the Samurai also has an LED torch and an audio/video player.
It’s priced at Rs. 1800 which pretty much explains the exclusion of quite a few features, but if you are interested in a low budget phone, (we’ve all faced those “Lost-my-smartphone-will-settle-for-cheap-phone” days now) the Samurai is available at your nearest mobile store.
By Athima Chansanchai
Six-hundred million Facebook users isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion potential Facebook users — which is what may happen now that the social network has been built into a SIM card, which means you don’t need a smart phone to access it. Dumb phone users, rejoice! You too can now air out all your dirty laundry, share your random thoughts and your day on your status updates or organize social activism via text messages.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where not just smart, but brilliant phones are coming out left and right, digital security company Gemalto announced “Facebook for SIM,” which embeds Facebook on SIM cards. This provides a way for feature phone users (“dumb” non-OS phones that make calls and send SMS messages vs. “smart” ones that are Web-enabled and loaded with apps) to be a part of Facebook on the go.
As Gemalto explains:
The innovative solution provides mobile subscribers with simple and convenient access to core Facebook features such as friend requests, status updates, wall posts or messages. It also offers unique functions: people can sign up for this service and log in directly from the SIM application. Interactive Facebook messages pop-up on the phone’s screen so people can always share up-to-the-minute posts and events. One can also automatically search their SIM phonebook for other friends and send them requests.
Even though smart phone sales are booming, feature phones still account for the majority of the world’s 5 billion mobile phone users. Those who couldn’t get on Facebook through their phone before because they needed a data contract or app download can do so now.
This means a whole new world of potential users to immerse themselves in news feeds, likes and oversharing. SIM cards for Facebook also bring the social network to less developed parts of the world where mobile phones are much more plentiful than computers, and are the main method of communication.
More than 50 percent of Asian and African mobile Internet users, as well as more than 20 percent of users in developed markets, such as the UK and U.S., don’t access the Internet on a computer, according to On Device Research. In many developing countries, mobile-only users dominate, with the highest percentage in Egypt at 70 percent and India at 59 percent. We’ve already seen what Facebook can do through the protests and unseating of a dictator in Egypt, and no doubt, this will really help Facebook expand its reach in countries where it competes with other social networks.
With “more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices,” (according to Facebook’s own statistics) Geamalto’s innovation may very well drive up those numbers. They’re counting on Facebook’s observation that, “People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.”
It’s not the first time Facebook has shown up on feature phones, but Gemalto’s SIM card eliminates the need for an app download. Facebook came out with the Facebook for Feature Phones app in January, and it works on more than 2,500 devices from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and other manufacturers.
After a free trial period, Gemalto’s SIM will be available through a subscription for unlimited passes for different durations.
As if this development won’t all but guarantee more FB’ers, Facebook phones, once denied, are now being unveiled in all their glory at MWC, including the HTC ChaCha and Salsa. Mark Zuckerberg gave a recorded message at the event that declared more “phones with a deeper social integration” coming in 2011, with “multiple devices” due and possibly even as many as a dozen, according to Gizmodo’s Gary Cutlack.
More Facebook and phone stories:
- Younger generation wises up to smart phones
- Rumor: Facebook phones are coming!!!
- Facebook phones may be in the works after all
Check out Technolog on Facebook, and on Twitter, follow Athima Chansanchai, who shares status updates on Facebook for Android.
(2011-01-04) Brand New S521i Dual SIM Window Mobile 6.5 Smart Phone with WIFI Java GPS
Except Android smart phones, umibuy.com also publishes a broad range of other excelle
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Unlike other traditional smart phones with only single sim, this S521i smart phone supports dual sim dual standby function. Users can insert two sim or one according to the personal needs. Dual sim is very convenient for business people.
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The increasing amount of dual SIM devices hitting the market from South Korean mobile phone manufacturers LG and Samsung points to a trend that other handset makers should pay attention to. People want to be able to have two separate identities with them, but without the hassle of having multiple gadgets to look after, sync, and charge. LG just announced the P520 in Russia according to Mobile-Review and it brings something new to the table compared to other dual SIM handsets that have traditionally been in the low end range of a product portfolio. It has a touch screen, albeit a small 2.8 inch touch screen, but at least you can poke and prod at it! With a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels it isn’t going to win any awards, especially since it displays only 262,000 colors. Opera Mini is built in, along with applications that can interact with Facebook and other social networks.
Other hardware specifications include a 2 megapixel camera, quadband GSM/EDGE, but sadly no 3G, monster 1500 mAh battery that claims to provide 9 hours of talk time and 400 hours (~17 days) of standby time, and an FM radio, all in a body that measures 108.9 mm x 55.9 mm x 12.9 mm and weighs 120 grams. Price is unknown and that’s what’s going to make or break this device.
If you’re looking something with a QWERTY keyboard then consider the Samsung Ch@t 322 that started shipping this month, and again, the price has yet to be announced. There’s also Nokia, who in 2010 finally joined the dual SIM market with their C1-00 and C2 handsets, the latter has the ability to keep both SIM cards activated at the same time while the former can only use one at a time. Does having 2 phone numbers appeal to you, or do you think these devices are mainly for penny pinchers who genuinely need to save every little morsel they can?
[Via: Unwired View]
Best Mobile SIM Only Deals 2010 Announced By www.SimOnlyContractDeals.co.uk
www.SimOnlyContractDeals.co.uk, UK’s leading comparison site in the world of SIM Only deals announce best SIM Only contracts and price plans for 2010.
(PRWEB) November 8, 2010
Every year sees the mobile phone market growing and virtually everyone today carries a mobile phone. From non existent to a must have – the mobile phone has beaten every other invention in the history of mankind. Since pre-paid packages were introduced and prices of mobile phones became more reasonable, the market just bloomed. Today it’s the mobile phone service providers who are hard pressed in striving to provide the best and reasonably priced services to retain customers and get a foothold in new segments of this thriving market.
This year editors of the SIM Only deals comparison site had to spend several days picking the winners in the different categories using data gathered throughout the entire year. Vodafone and O2 were clear winners for 2010 with Vodafone snatching the all-round best sim only deal, but we hope to see them getting more competition from 3 Mobile, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Orange. Vodafone and O2 may be amongst the oldest and strongest contenders in the telecommunication sector, but then in this ever growing market there is enough potential for the other service providers to give them a tough time.
In iPhone and Blackberry services there was no competition for O2 and they won both these awards hands down. No award was given for the new player in this sector which is iPad but 2011 should see an award for this sector as well. Similarly business SIM only and broadband were not considered but these will be included at some point in future awards. We see a fair number of SIM Only deals being offered in the iPad sector and it’s good to note that it’s not only the big players who are competing in this.
With virtually thousands of SIM only deals it’s quite a time consuming and arduous task to pick a winner in each category. Selecting the best all round SIM only package is perhaps the most difficult to judge as each deal has to be evaluated on its merit. The popularity of the deal also has to be borne in mind.
The award winners are shown on www.simonlycontractdeals.co.uk/best-sim-only.html and a casual glance at them will amply justify their choice. As mobile phone service providers keep coming up with new SIM only contracts they evaluate them and try and guide users about their pros and cons. Another factor to consider while judging SIM only deals is the facilities that they offer. Some deals are targeted at selling a particular mobile handset and disappear over the horizon. These deals are not taken into serious consideration. We hope that next year we will be able to increase the scope of the SIM only deals awards.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2010/11/prweb4726624.htm
Cross-country growth studies show that strong institutions are the surest bet out of this quagmire, a fact that has been echoed several times by Prince Kofi Amoabeng, CEO of UT Bank and arguably, the most-respected CEO in Ghana. When asked in a recent interview on how to reform the institutions, Mr. Amoabeng emphasized the role of information. “We have to go back to the basics. Information about the people, proper home and business addresses; proper identification make it possible to collect appropriate taxes that will fund projects,” he added. But developing good institutions, when powers that be benefit from its absence, is not going to be easy. Sure, a fixed-address system will help, but you only need to take one look at Accra, not to mention smaller towns/villages, to realize that street addressing remains a dream for now.
So what can Ghana do? The solution may lie in the 14 million-plus mobile phones that have now become a fixture in the daily lives of Ghanaians. Almost all adults have cell-phones; about 14 (out of a population of 23) million existing subscribers. Each has till end of June 2011 to voluntarily register the SIM card, else lose the number. All that was required to register my TIGO number, besides my name, was an ID (in my case, passport) number. Elsewhere, I would have to provide more personal information, such as a residential address (where I can be picked up should I commit a crime or fail to pay a fine). This information is then linked to other databases: e.g., at the revenue office, or my driving record at the DMV. Understandably, the nature of Ghana’s economy, of which about 70% is informal, makes it impossible to require much to register a SIM card.
But this should not preclude a well thought-out plan that addresses Ghana’s developmental challenges. For example, it can become a tool to enhance (i) tax collection, and (ii) the public’s trust that government will use taxes for its intended purposes. Low levels of trust means that almost everyone would rather evade taxes. Ironically, most will tell you they have no problem with taxes (just add up what they collectively give to organized religion each week and you’ll know); after all, they desire the same quality services as those in the developed world. Problem is they have no way of holding the government accountable. The result: a huge ‘infrastructure gap.’ Local and state governments say they have no money to build good roads or schools; and people point to the lack of infrastructure as evidence of a corrupt and inept government, so why pay taxes?
Millions across Africa, who are still unbanked, can now store and transfer their monies electronically in MTN’s “mobile money,” Zain’s “zap” or Safaricom’s “m-pesa,” effectively turning a cell-phone into an ATM. Farmers in remote parts of Ghana can now receive timely crop-price information if their phone is esoko-enabled, a product developed by an Accra-based firm, BusyLab. Very soon, the problem of fake medicines will be a thing of the past when consumers start using “m-pedigree” on their mobile phones to check on the authenticity of a drug at the point-of-sale. And when some “wise guy” sent a text message (a prank) around midnight of Jan. 18, 2010, warning others to stay clear of buildings because of an impending earthquake in Ghana, the news spread like fire through texts and calls. (Haiti was hit a week earlier). Within an hour of that text message, the entire nation was out on the streets till 5am. And guess the one thing each person grabbed before leaving their homes? Not the TV, not jewelry; they took their cell-phones.
Bottom line, cell-phones have become indispensable in millions of households, in spite of the high illiteracy rate. My colleague here at Tufts University, Jenny Aker, has been studying how cell-phones are improving literacy levels in Niger. We now know that, partly due to the pre-paid contracts on talk-time (where consumers manually text-in the PIN on a scratch card), the uneducated can be trained to be numerically literate to a basic level. It is this “asset” that can be harnessed to make the SIM card register more than a crime-fighting tool. In fact, it can be leveraged to address Ghana’s twin problem mentioned above: low tax revenues and mistrust of government. However, the SIM card registration shoould be done in moderation with sufficient public knowlegdge and reassurances for not using personal information for other purposes. There is depressing news about the expansion in the subscriber base of most Telcos. Mobile operators MTN and Millicom recorded respectively a 3% and 0.17% decline in subscriptions over the third quarter of 2010. According to MTN, the trend results from the SIM card registration process, which slows down gross connections.
To exploit the digital features of a cell-phone, each administrative zone in Ghana (e.g., the 170 districts) should first be assigned a 3 or 4-digit code. These codes will then be required of subscribers to register their SIM cards. Then, to address the ”accountability” problem, each time a resident pays taxes/levies, that information can be texted in to an auditing office together with receipt numbers (just like topping up talk-time), providing half of what’s needed to facilitate an independent audit. To conserve resources, 10% of the districts (i.e., 17 of the 170) can be audited each year, picked randomly (e.g., in the same way winning lottery numbers are picked each week, so the process is seen as fair and transparent). However, as evidence from Brazil suggests, the impact will go beyond those audited.
Federico Finan (University of California, Berkeley) and Claudio Ferraz (at PUC, Rio de Janeiro) have studied the impact of random audits of municipal accounts in Brazil. They found that results from the audits, when broadly disseminated, had a significant effect on mayoral elections outcomes. Incompetent mayors were voted out. More importantly, the random nature of these audits led to overall reduction in corruption because it kept heads of local governments “on their feet.” In another example, Zubair Bhatti, a Pakistani bureaucrat and head of Jhang district land transfers department, makes random phone-calls to clients to check for corruption in his office. When charges were brought against a staff member who had asked for a bribe, the others realized that Mr. Bhatti was serious. Clients reported a sudden improvement in service, and now the Jhang-model is being extended to other services.
To be sure, alone, big picture ideas for the SIM register is neither a panacea for poverty reduction nor going to be easy to implement; but then no one said managing an economy of 23 million is supposed to be a cake-walk. It must be supported by other structures (such as directly electing District Chief Executives – i.e., the mayor – so they can be held accountable). And will require lots of social awareness. More importantly, the government needs to partner with the private sector (here, the service providers) who have better access to today’s cutting edge technology. Writing in the Wall Street Journal Asia Edition (May, 2008), Microsoft’s Chairman Bill Gates stressed the need for such public-private partnerships to leap-frog developmental stages in poor nations. According to Mr. Gates:
“Public-private partnerships make it possible to multiply the impact that a single organization or company could hope to achieve working alone. These partnerships combine public sector organizations’ knowledge of local communities with private companies’ technical expertise and implementation experience. As a result, public-private partnerships can develop and deploy relevant and effective information technology solutions that solve specific challenges with much greater speed.”
There is no doubt that cell-phones have become the computers in the developing world. Any policy framework aimed at radically transforming the economy cannot ignore this. Yes, the SIM card register may curb the crime rate (I hope so), but it is not too late to integrate other smart features so as to enhance its potential for economic and social transformation. The Government of Ghana is currently accessing a US$45 million loan from the World Bank for an e-Ghana project. The objective of this project is to assist Ghana in leveraging ICT for growth and development. What better way to spend this money than to create the right institutions of governance, with the help of the citizens and their cell-phones, so they can begin to live better lives and in dignity.
Edward Kutsoati is an Associate Professor of Economics at Tufts University and an associate of AfricanLiberty.org
[November 01, 2010]
Mobily offers Pilgrims Mobile phone and SIM for 95 SR
Oct 31, 2010 (Al-Bawaba via COMTEX) — Mobily is giving pilgrims Rihal phone lines with SAR 20 credit in addition to an LG mobile phone for SAR 95. Mobily said that it is offering the bundle in cooperation with one of its partners, Axiom Telecom.The bundle is available at every Mobily outlet in the holy sites in Makkah and Madina, and at every Mobily channel on land, seaports and in the air. The phone is a simple, highly portable device that is easy to store along with the pilgrims’ personal belongings and comes with a SIM card that expires after 120 days.This offer comes simultaneously with Mobly’s announcement of the three Rihal package factions, the SAR 20, the SAR 25 and the SAR 50 with a discount reaching 40% on the assigned favorite number and with fixed rates on all local calls made off network.Subscribers to the “Rihal” package can assign their favorite number by simply calling 1499 and following the instructions, or by sending an sms to 1499 made up of (fi) and the favorite international number starting with the country’s code, or they can always contact Mobily customer services at 1100 and ask to have their favorite number assigned.Mobily announced finalizing its preparations to accommodate the pilgrims when it set 25 point of sales in Mena and assigned more than 100 employee for technical support. The company has also equipped more than 33 branches inside Makkah and Al Madinah with SIMs and recharge vouchers, bill settlement and technical support services, and many other post sale services. Moreover, Mobily will also be handing out free gifts, mineral water, umbrellas and bags to the pilgrims during Hajj. (C) 2010 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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