Saudi Arabia launches campaign to identify mobile subscribers

All Saudi mobile subscribers required to prove their identity in drive to cut down 'anonymous' mobiles

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By  Mark Sutton Published  October 11, 2008

Saudi Arabia has today launched a major campaign to update records on all mobile subscribers in the Kingdom.

The campaign, which was instigated by the Saudi Communications & Information Commission (CITC), is intended to ensure that each mobile number has a valid identity attached to it.

The CITC said that the campaign will protect subscribers and prevent unauthorized use of their names by others, and will help deal with continuing complaints arising from malicious or annoyance calls originating from unidentifiable callers.

Trading in pre-paid mobile numbers is common in Saudi, although it is illegal, and anonymous pre-paid phones have been used by criminals and terrorists to avoid being identified by security forces.

The CITC has asked operators to text users and ask them to submit their full name and national ID card by SMS. If there are any discrepancies with the identity on record, the user will then be required to visit a local branch office of their operator and update their details in person.

Mobily has announced a campaign to encourage people to update their details, with a prize draw that will give away a car every day.

The ‘Hawyyati’ campaign (My Identity), will run to the end of the year, and will offer 56 Lexus, Toyota Camry and Land Cruiser cars to users that authenticate their identity at Mobily branch offices.

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