Indonesia tightens prepaid SIM card registration rules
By Ervina Anggraini October 23, 2015
- New rules come into effect Dec 15, 10yrs after registration first imposed
- Operators say they are prepared, but add that reseller education is a challenge
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INDONESIA’S Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has tightened the country’s prepaid SIM card registration process to combat high churn rates and abuse, including SMS spam.
The registration requirement for prepaid SIM cards was first rolled out a decade ago, but has proven to be ineffective. Regulation No 23/2005, which allows registration via the 4444 SNS shortcode, has long been abused, industry pundits say.
Minister of Communication and Information Technology Rudiantara (pic above) said the new registration system for prepaid SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards will be more “accurate and careful,” especially with regards to the identity of both users as well as retailers.
Under the new regulation, which will come into effect on Dec 15, registration will not be done by users but by authorised retailers or outlets, and will only work with valid identification.
“The registration system for new prepaid SIM cards will be done in a one-stop manner at the reseller where users get their numbers,” Rudiantara told Digital News Asia (DNA) Oct 19.
He said the new registration system will be applied nationwide, including remote areas, but added that the time needed to complete the process will be dependent on the number of customers.
Once the new regulation goes live on Dec 15, manual registration via the 4444 shortcode will be discontinued, Rudiantara said.
The chairman of Indonesia’s Telecommunication and Cellular Association (ATSI), Alexander Rusli (pic), hailed the new policy, adding that industry players have already put in place the infrastructure to support its implementation.
This preparation includes the ‘Retail Outlet Identity’ (ROID) system for prepaid SIM card resellers.
But Alexander acknowledged that getting the systems ready was merely one aspect. “Technology support would not be as difficult as educating the outlets, which are huge in number.
“Training people can’t be done in one or two days,” he told DNA in Jakarta.
According to Alexander, under the new policy, all outlets will have to use the ROID system to identify their owners. In the case of any abuse – such as the reselling of user data, or fraud – it would be easy for the Government to track down the outlet responsible.
Any retail or outlet which does not use the ROID system will be automatically blocked from conducting further business. It might also face further action, but such punitive measures are still being discussed, he added.
Telco industry response
Telecommunication service operators PT XL Axiata Tbk, PT Indosat Tbk and PT Hutchison 3 (Tri) told DNA they are prepared for the new regulation.
XL Axiata president director and chief executive officer Dian Siswarini (pic above) said her company has already prepared its IT system and educated its retail outlets on how to handle the new requirement.
Education was the most challenging aspect, she added.
“Actually, education for retail outlets for the first phase is done, but it must be continuous because not all retail outlet are big businesses or well educated,” she said.
This education also included the measures resellers might face if there are violations. In fact, discussions on violations were conducted earlier this year, according to Dian.
XL prepared its IT infrastructure to handle the new regulation in May last year, and has introduced a new standard operation procedure (SOP) for its retail outlets.
Meanwhile ATSI’s Alexander, also Indosat president director and chief executive officer, said around 160,000 retail outlets have been educated on the ROID registration system.
For its part, Hutchison Tri already had an online registration system in place, according to its chief sales and marketing officer Dolly Susanto.
“We developed a next-generation system we have been using since June 2012, for the online registration of all retail outlet identities,” she said.
Dolly said Hutchison Tri has around 200,000 resellers on its integrated online identity system. With a total of 54.8 million customers, she said her company was ready to support the new regulation.
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