The business of mobile phone unlocking may well be out of season soon, Communications and Digitalisation Minister-designate Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has revealed.
Disclosing to members of the Appointees Committee of Parliament, the former Communications Minister intimated that the country will soon be signed on to the Global Central Identity Register to curtail the incidence of the use of stolen phones.
“…I know there’s a thriving business in unlocking of phones here. I have bad news for those in that industry. Ghana will be signed on to the Global Central Identity Register and so if a phone is stolen outside and sold here, it cannot be used here as well. If it is blocked there, it will be blocked here as well,” she explained.
She added that SIM cards which are not registered over a period will be blocked.
“There will be a cut-off date where unregistered sims will be blocked,” she furthered.
There is currently a high demand for locked phones imported from other countries since they are relatively cheaper on the market.
Such phones are then unlocked by phone specialists in Ghana and sometimes resold.
Madam Ursula had earlier told the Vetting Committee that when given the green light to serve in the capacity of the Communications and Digitalisation minister, it will be one of her first courses of action as a way to tackle the incidence of cybercrime as well as phone theft the country is grappling with.
“Nowhere in the world can you just acquire a SIM card without registration? And looking at the uses to which we are putting our mobile devices, it is not just a mobile phone for talking now, it is your bank, it is your office, it is your entertainment device and it is storing very confidential information of yours.
“…Not only will the SIM will be registered but the device on which the SIM is used as well. And we hope that by that we will cut down the theft and resale of devices. That’s one of the commonest petty crimes occurring in our country currently…
“if the device is also registered, once it is reported stolen it can be blocked and it cannot be unlocked,” Madam Ursula Owusu Ekuful told the Committee.