Cameroon’s mobile operators recently suspended 891,082 phone numbers deemed non-compliant, telecom regulator ART announced on March 3, 2022.
The suspended numbers represent about 3.34% of the 26,623,923 numbers registered phone numbers in the ART’s identification database. Stil, 94,882 other non-compliant numbers are active pending the regularization of their situation.
According to the telecom regulator, those numbers deemed non-compliant are usually registered under fake names using fake identification documents or even documents lost by their real owners. When numbers are registered under fake names, it becomes difficult to trace the user when crimes are committed using them.
To protect citizens against the sheer number of crimes committed using phone numbers (thefts, blackmail, defamation, cybercrime, etc.), the government introduced regulations governing communication. On December 21, 2010, a law was adopted governing electronic communications and, on September 3, 2015, a decree was issued making it compulsory to identify mobile subscribers.
Thanks to those regulatory frameworks, security services can find the user of a SIM card when need be and catch criminals who use phones for illegal activities. It also helps operators know who their subscribers are, identify them during emergency calls, facilitate access to roaming and even prevent the use of SIM cards for acts that undermine public security.