Mobile Phones: Government Fixes Identification Guidelines

A Prime Ministerial decree of September 3, 2015 spells out the conditions for identifying subcribers.

Subscribers to the Camtel, MTN Cameroon, Orange Cameroun and Nexttel mobile telephone networks, will henceforth fulfill conditions before their personal information is updated in the database. This is sequal to a decree of Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, signed on September 3, 2015, setting out the guidelines for the identification of telephone subscribers and terminal equipment of electronic telecommunication networks.

Not More Than Three Modules Per Person

Mobile telephone operators have been tasked by the Head of Government to identify all customers as well as terminal equipment at the moment of subscription to every electronic communication device. The decree stresses that no individual is allowed to own more than three modules (simcards) from one telephone operator.

It spells out the need for those wishing to obtain more than three modules from a telephone operator to submit an authorisation from the Telecommunications Regulatory Board. However, any entity seeking group subscription (flotte) for staff with each subscriber entitled to more than three simcards must receive authorisation from the mobile telephone company.

Identification Procedure

According to the decree of the Prime Minister, subcribers must submit orignal copies of their National Identity Cards, residence permits for foreigners, complete address and sketch of location of home as well as the international identity of the equipment terminal (IMEI) for identification. For subscribers represented by other people, their subscription cards, originals of the IDs of the authorised go-between, the exact adress and the location of home of the person’s headoffice, IMEI number of any group subscription (flotte), the list of staff who will benefit from the group subscription as well as their certified ID cards and attestation for insurance coverage are required for companies and or managers wishing to identify staff.

Contrary to the past where subscribers were obliged to upgrade their profiles with photocopies of their ID cards, the current decision obliges subscribers to present the originals of their identification requirements before any identification procedure can be complete.

Identifying Minors

Mobile telephone operators have been instructed to identify minors without the originals of their ID cards and or birth certificates through their parents and guardians. For minors with ID cards, their identification must be done in the presence of their parents and or guardians. Subscribers must be duly informed of the completion of their identification process through any medium free of charge, the decree states.

Mobile telephone operators have been invited to jealously preserve, through electronic or hard copies, all identification information on subscribers and on terminal equipment for over 10 years. They have also been directed to have a computerised database with all information on their subscribers. They are expected to regularly update such databases.

Cameroon Tribune

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