DAR ES SALAAM, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania's identification watchdog said on Wednesday it was ready to facilitate biometric registration of mobile telephone numbers which officially begins on May 1, this year.
The National Identification Authority (NIDA) said in a statement that the authority will implement the biometric registration of telephone lines across the country in collaboration with the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and telecommunication operators.
According to the statement, registration of simcards using the new technology will require mobile phone owners to have NIDA IDs or a NIDA registration number.
Authorities arrived to the decision to re-register simcards after a successful pilot project to register the cards using the technology which was conducted by TCRA last year in Zanzibar, Dodoma, Dar es Salaam, Singida, Tanga, Iringa and Coast regions.
NIDA said in the statement that it has so far registered 88 percent of eligible Tanzanians who qualify for the national IDs, and that the remaining 12 percent will be identified and registered in an ongoing mass registration across the east African nation.
"NIDA continues with mass registration in high populated regions including Dr es Salaam, Tanga, Kigoma and Coast. Mass registration is only for eligible Tanzanians who had missed the opportunity to register," said the statement issued in the business capital Dar es Salaam.
According to laws of the country, NIDA registers and provides national IDs to Tanzanians aged 18 year and above.
TCRA said in a recent statement that after the set deadline it will not be possible to use telephone numbers that were not registered using the biometric technology.
TCRA said recently that the move was aimed at getting rid of dishonest telephone line users, controlling cybercrime and protecting Tanzanians against those abusing the telecommunications sector.
TCRA has set September 30, 2019, the deadline for registering simcards with biometric technology.
According to TCRA statistics, subscriptions to mobile networks reached a record high of 41,708,218 in June 2018.