Hong Kong to set up SIM card registrations kiosks at 25 MTR stations

Users must register their SIM cards by February 23 to prevent loss of service under telecommunication regulations launched in September.

Hongkongers who have yet to register their mobile phone SIM cards from Sunday can seek help at government-run kiosks in 25 of the city’s MTR stations, authorities have said ahead of next month’s regulatory deadline.

The Communications Authority on Saturday said that it would ramp up support for the real-name registration effort as the statutory deadline on February 23 approached, after which all unlisted SIM cards would be deactivated.

The government would also request help from social welfare organisations to ensure those in need, such as elderly residents, could register in time, it said.

Describing the services as “free of charge”, a spokesman also explained: “Members of the public in need should bring along their Hong Kong identity cards, relevant prepaid SIM cards and mobile phones capable of receiving SMS notifications.”

From Sunday, kiosk services will be available from 9am to 6pm each day at 25 rail stations, including those in Wan Chai, Sai Ying Pun, Kowloon, Kowloon Tong, Tai Wai and Tiu Keng Leng.

Inquiry services are also available at 18 post offices in the city, including Central’s General Post Office, as well as sites in Tsim Sha Tsui and North Point.

The government has also advised residents to visit the outlet of their preferred telecoms operators to register their SIM cards.

The policy comes under the Telecommunications (Registration of SIM Cards) Regulation, which took effect in September last year and requires users to register their SIM cards using their name, date of birth and Hong Kong Identity Card number.

The Communications Authority said the new law was introduced to help detect and prevent crime linked to the use of prepaid SIM cards, adding that it would safeguard the integrity of telecommunications services and the security of such networks.

The regulation applies to phone users with SIM cards covered by monthly plans and pay-as-you-go services.

Residents under the age of 16 are required to obtain approval from an adult before registering their SIM cards, with the latter’s personal information to be listed alongside the user as a guarantor.

Companies issuing SIM cards to employees must provide their business registration details and the information of the person in charge of the cards.

The regulations also limited the number of prepaid SIM each individual and corporate user can have from each telecoms operator, with the cap set at 10 and 25, respectively.