DUBAI// du customers who received text messages asking them to re-register their Sim cards have three months to do so or face having their phones blocked.
Hundreds of thousands of mobile customers have already registered their cards as part of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority's "My Number, My Identity'"campaign, which aims to crackdown on the misuse of Sim cards in criminal activity.
Although the official deadline is 18 months away, du subscribers face having their phones blocked much sooner.
"About two or three weeks before the deadline we will send them another reminder," said Yasser Al Yousuf, du's director of premium personal market. "If after that they have still not registered, the line will be blocked.
"We can make arrangements to get them to register again as people may be out of the country or have otherwise not been able to come for registration."
Mr Al Yousuf said the move was to encourage as many customers as possible to register in three-month groups.
"We are notifying customers in batches, so after the first three months we will text a new batch of customers," he said.
Tens of thousands of customers have already signed up and du is registering thousands of users on a daily basis.
Etisalat is also splitting Sim registration into six three-month batches, but it is not based on an appointment system and customers do not face having their phones blocked.
"We receive about 10,000 customers every day and we expect this number to increase after Ramadan," said Hassan Al Abdouli, Etisalat's director of Channel Management.
Registration should only take about 10 minutes to complete, provided customers take with them either a valid Emirates ID, GCC ID or passport.