Pre-activated SIM cards sold online despite ban

Thursday, Mar 09, 2017 10:04

MIC asks operators not to reactivate the recalled 20 million SIM cards. — Photo

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has requested network operators to withdraw and deactivate nearly 20 million pre-activated SIM cards and banned the sales of these SIM cards, however, many stores continued selling them online.

Pre-activated SIM cards are reportedly being sold rampantly on social media apps such as Zalo and Facebook at very cheap prices. Two-way activated SIM cards are offered between only VND9,500-VND12,000 (42-53 US cents), much lower than regular prices of about VND150,000-VND200,000 per SIM card.

Despite the ban, many customers still seek to buy these SIM cards due to lower prices.

In a meeting last month, MIC asked operators not to reactivate the recalled 20 million SIM cards. It has also affirmed that Department of Information and Communications will co-ordinate with local authority to increase inspections and seriously punish violations on subscriber information management and sales of pre-activated SIM cards.

In a related development, major mobile network operators such as VNPT, Mobifone and Viettel endeavoured to prevent spam text messages last month, to decrease spam subscribers to 1.5 out of 10,000.

VNPT has cancelled contracts with 20 authorised agents due to improper activities and blocked 569 incorrect information subscribers. Viettel also filtered 4.7 million spam messages and removed 7,456 subscribers.

Meanwhile, Mobifone blocked 29,000 subscribers and 13 million subscribers in the past two months. — VNS

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