Mobile device registration deadline nears, reminds minister

Kazakh Minister of Information and Communications Dauren Abayev reminded the public at a Dec. 10 press-conference that mobile operators will not service mobile devices that have not passed International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) registration after the Jan. 1 deadline.

The Kazakh Law on Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts on Issues of Information and Communications, signed December 2017, outlines additional duties for website and telecommunications operators, including a change to the Law on Communications requiring the registration of subscriber mobile devices.

Registration rules, approved in May, established that devices are to be registered by Jan. 1. Registration is free of charge and may be carried out through the telecommunications operators Activ, Altel, Beeline, Kcell and Tele2.

Device owners may self-register or register through sales and service offices and should provide information on their individual or business identification number, device identification code and SIM numbers. Minors aged 14-18 require their legal representatives’ consent, and younger minors must have their legal representatives register on their behalf.

In January, operators will be prohibited from providing services to devices not entered in the device database. Registration processing may take up to four to eight business hours for individuals and legal entities, respectively, so the public is urged not to try to register at the last minute.

Subscriber identity module (SIM)-card owners number 26.5 million in Kazakhstan, 70 percent of whom have registered their mobile devices.

“We see no need to extend the [registration] deadline,” the minister said. “Seventy percent is more than the population of Kazakhstan – we have fewer people than the number of mobile subscribers because people often own several phones. Seventy percent is 17 million inhabitants.”

“We are not having the same rush as for whar we did for housing registration,” added Mazhilis (lower house of Parliament) Deputy Speaker Gulmira Isimbayeva, noting the sufficient time provided for the population given that legislation on registration was introduced a year ago.

Following a meeting with major telecommunications operators, Abayev reported that tariff reduction for cellular communications and the Internet will also start Jan. 1. The basic tariff has dropped 100 times since the beginning of Internet use in Kazakhstan, he noted.