TRC ultimatum to mobile phone companies
COLOMBO: The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri
Lanka will declare an ultimatum to mobile phone companies next week to
re-register their subscribers for the issue of mobile Ownership
Certificates in compliance with new TRC regulations to curb the criminal
usage of mobile phones.
The Commission’s Director General Priyantha Kariyapperuma said on
Monday, he will announce a time frame for the mobile network companies,
requiring them to re register their customer bases as they meet next
week to discuss the progress of registrations.
Mobile service providers are supposed to issue Certificates of
Ownership for each subscriber identity issued by them to their customers
under new TRC regulations.
Kariyapperuma said, “the mobile companies had responded well to the
TRC’s ew directive. Tigo has taken steps to distribute plastic cards
containing the the name, telephone number and NIC number or Passport
number of their customers to make it convenient for their customers.”
The registration of mobile phone users was made mandatory by the
Commission since such data could be used to avert irregularities and
illegal activities created by mobile phones to, minimise any potential
threat to national security.
Asked if this would not mean intruding into one’s privacy on the
grounds that mobile phones and personal computers are considered as
one’s personal belongings, Kariyapperuma said, that having a certificate
for the ownership of a mobile sim does not mean that one was going to be
asked by each and every policeman on the way to produce one’s phone for
identification or anything except in extreme cases associated with crime
or terrorism where a mobile phone may be located in that particular
”It is not something like a driving license. It is positioned to
protect the civil society. The new regulations do not violate
It is only a design to curb the criminal use of phones,” he said.
If your mobile phone is so personal, the TRC is asking you to make it
more personal by registering your ownership with your personal name
attached to it your identity, he added.
“When the TRC moved the regulations a few months ago, some people saw
a storm in a tea cup, and others downplayed with it for political
advantage to create unrest in the minds of the public,” he said.
Speaking on the current progress of registrations, he said , all four
service providers had responded to the TRC’s call with understanding ,
and their service centers have provided numbers to carry out the
registration process. ”
They have registered most of the subscribers. The service is free of
charge,” he said.
In fact we asked the service providers not to charge any money on
subscribers as they are supposed to have maintained records of the
people who use their services.
”We are well aware of the situation that there are cases where the
original subscriber has transferred his sim without the knowledge of the
service provider, In such cases, subscribers can register their new
ownership to that particular sim,” he said.
”The Director General said,” there is no magic involved in this, for
most countries including India have adopted the system.”