Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) plans to tighten SIM rules early next year for anyone with more than five active SIM cards.
According to the Bangkok Post, the proposed new regulations would require all mobile users with more than five registered active SIMs to either re-register the cards or go to an operator service centre to verify them.
Once the new rules take effect, such users will have 30 days to re-register or verify the SIMs. If they miss the deadline, they will no longer be able to make phone calls, though they will still be able to receive them. After 60 days, the cards will be deactivated, the report said.
The new rules, which are intended to combat mobile fraud, aren’t expected to affect most mobile users. According to NBTC data, just over 286,000 people have anywhere from six to 100 active SIMs as of September 2023, while over 7,600 have over 100 SIMs. Together they account for around 9.4 million SIMs.
For context, 64.5 million people in Thailand have between one and five SIM cards, accounting for 85.1 million SIMs.
However, the rules will impact businesses who acquire lots of SIM cards, such as retailers who sell SIM cards and phones, and enterprises that provide SIMs to employees for use at work.
According to the Post, NBTC commissioner Pol Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn said the finalised draft of the new rules will be sent to focus groups for discussion before being forwarded to the NBTC board for its consideration and approval, which could come early next year.