Last call for registering names on prepaid SIM cards

Citizens are reminded to register their prepaid SIM cards under their names by Thursday or the phone cards will become invalid from the next day, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau Ying-wah said.

The deadline applies to those who bought their prepaid SIM cards before last March.

"We have 18 designated counters in the post offices and 25 counters in the MTR stations, alongside service providers to offer assistance," Yau said.

Apart from registering in-person, citizens can also register online via telecommunications service providers' website or mobile app.

"Just use your ID card with the prepaid SIM card and the portable phone that can receive the SMS," Yau said. "Registration will take a few minutes."

He said authorities had helped some 60,000 people with registration.

Eighteen post offices will extend their service hours to 7pm on next Wednesday and Thursday. The support counters at 25 designated MTR stations will operate from 9am to 6pm daily before the deadline.

The authorities have launched advertisements and set support service centers since registration began last March.

Yau considered the promotion adequate, adding that the telecom operators had sent out several reminders.

Those who cannot use their SIM cards after the deadline should seek assistance from their telecommunications service providers.

A Commerce and Economic Development Bureau spokesman said Yau had earlier written letters to urge service providers to enhance its services - including extending their outlets' opening hours - to help citizens register.

The bureau, alongside the Office of the Communications Authority and telecommunications service providers, had formed a task force to ensure smooth registration.

The OFCA had arranged to train volunteers from more than 200 social welfare agencies and district organizations, conducted over 25 visits to elderly centers and residential care homes and coordinated home visits and outreach activities to assist with the process.

The move came after the Telecommunications (Registration of SIM Cards) Regulation took effect on September 1, 2021, requiring prepaid phone card users to undergo real-name registration.

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