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Customers line up at the du service store in Khaleej Centre in Bur Dubai ahead of the deadline to re-register their SIM cards by 16 October 2012.
Customers line up at the du service store in Khaleej Centre in Bur Dubai ahead of the deadline to re-register their SIM cards by 16 October 2012.

100,000s in UAE face disconnection today over Sim card confusion

UAE telecom operator du insists on cutting phone lines if Sim cards are not re-registered, despite Etisalat and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority extending their deadline by three months.

DUBAI // Hundreds of thousands of mobile-phone users face being cut off today amid confusion over the requirement to re-register their Sim cards.

Subscribers to both Etisalat and du were originally told they had until yesterday to complete the process. Etisalat and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority then extended the deadline by three months.

Yesterday, however, du said it was extending its deadline only until today. The operator has about five million mobile subscribers, divided into six batches for re-registration. The deadline applies to the first batch, which means several hundred thousand users may be disconnected.

On its website yesterday du said customers who missed the re-registration deadline would initially be barred from making calls, and that reconnection would take up to three months.

Dozens of people desperate to avoid disconnection queued outside du outlets before they opened yesterday, and staff later reported a steady stream of customers.

"It's only 11am and we have already had 200 people come through to get their cards registered," said a member of staff at the du shop in Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai. "A lot of the people are worried that their phones will be blocked if they do not register today."

He said as far as he was aware the deadline was at the end of yesterday, although some customers had shown him SMS alerts saying they had until today.

"We had a lot of people waiting to get their Sim card registered in the morning," said a member of staff at the du centre in the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

nhanif@thenational.ae

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