11 July 2024

The National and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will issue a new edict requiring all mobile phone users who possess more than five SIM cards to identify themselves to their phone service providers or face suspension of phone and internet services.

Pol Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn, a member of the NBTC, said that the new measure is intended to prevent the misuse of additional SIM cards for illegal activities, especially by online scammers.

Currently, there are 64.8 million mobile phone users who possess 94.6 million SIM cards. Of these, 64.5 million own between 1 and 5 SIM cards each, totalling 85.1 million SIM cards. 280,000 phone users own between 6 and 100 SIM cards each, totalling 3.3 million cards, and 7,664 phone users own more than 100 SIM cards each, totalling 6.1 million.

According to the police, about 390,000 complaints concerning online fraud, with total damage estimated at about 49 billion baht, have been filed with the police between March 1st last year and November 10th this year.

Nathathorn said that, currently, those who own more than five SIM cards are required to identify themselves to their phone service providers, but there is no punitive action against those who fail to do so.

The new edict imposes punitive measures on violators. Those who do not identify themselves within 30 days will have their phone and internet services suspended and, if the requirement is not met for another 30 days, all those SIM cards and numbers will be returned to the NBTC.

He expects the new edict to come into effect early next year, after it is approved by the board of the NBTC.