Malaysian telcos fined over SIM verification

Dylan Bushell-Embling
14 Mar 2013

Malaysian regulator MCMC has handed out a fresh round of fines to several of the nation's operators, this time for allegedly failing to properly register prepaid accounts.

Celcom Axiata, Merchantrade, U Mobile, Tune Talk, Maxis Mobile and Maxis Broadband have been fined a total of 920,000 ringgit ($295,000), MCMC announced.

The companies allegedly violated their licensing conditions by failing to validate subscriber information provided to accompany applications for prepaid SIMs.

Malaysian regulations require service providers or sales representatives to validate the information provided against information contained in identifying documents such as the compulsory MyKad smartcards or passports.

“We view the failure to ensure proper registration of accurate user information as a serious offence,” MCMC chairman Dato’ Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi said. “We have received numerous complaints and info about cases where individuals’ MyKad or IC numbers and names have been used when in fact they never did apply for the service from the said telcos.”

Celcom Axiata received the lion's share of the fines, with eight penalties totalling 400,000 ringgit. Merchantrade was fined seven times for a total of 250,000, while the two Maxis units were fined a combined 160,000 ringgit.

The move came less than a week after MCMC fined each of Malaysia's three major mobile network operators – Maxis Mobile, Celcom Axiata and DiGi – over an alleged increase in incidences of dropped calls.

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