By now all of you know that the mandatory simcard registration by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has gone naught, died a natural death like most Ugandan projects, a white elephant dead on conception. Sam Agona (http://www.samagona.org/?p=14) hit on the nail why UCC could not enforce its threat.
The approach I am proposing has the following strategic objectives:
- Simplifying the process for the customer not the telecom providers
- Centralized registration for telcos while segregating the data for each telco (Do I smell Number Portability ahead)
- The minimum registration information for each telco is the same while allowing for each telco to collect more data as may be required
The high-level architecture is as follows:
- The telcos form a joint venture to manage the centralized registration system to keep it away from government to cater for privacy concerns, which can be mandated by the regulator or paid for from telco contributions to the regulator development fund
- Each telco pays based on the number of simcards registered – they are already paying agents a commission to register users anyway
- The data for the subscribers for each telco are segreagated from each other but a user can access their registration information across the different telcos (technically this is no-longer a deal breaker)
- A single set of mobile applications is used to register the customers – with each telco having an option to customize and brand the application for its own use
- A unique sim-card registration number that’s only useable within this system, similar to the Financial Card Number for the credit reference bureau
- Ability for a customer to add more simcards to their portfolio, does not have to be online or automated, but without the need for submitting all the documentation all over again
- Support for business customers to register and maintain simcards (this also needs to be looked into as it can be used to circumvent why the registration was done in the first place
- REQUIRED: An interface (not necessarily automated) to validate “official” documents like:
- Passport – for Ugandans at least via Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Drivers Licenses – Face Technologies – they already have tablets for Police to verify validity
- NSSF Cards – okay I know these are not available but they took my photos and biometric
- Corporation IDs (I am not sure how this would work since there are many briefcase companies abound)
- Voter Registration cards – Electoral Commission?
- Corporate Registration – Uganda Registration Services Bureau and Uganda Revenue Authority (TIN/VAT numbers)
The next question is who pays for the operations of this center which may be an annual service fee for the telcos based on the numbers of simcards maintained with fees for addition and removal of simcards, “accurate and timely statistics” on Uganda mobile telco industry.
What are your thoughts? What else could be added?