Unregistered Phone Numbers Will be Disconnected Print E-mail
( 4 Votes )
Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 00:00

In the interest of national security, the government used the Telecommunications Act Edition 2002, section 44 (5) to issue a mandate to the telecommunications companies in Belize on October 12, 2011. The order was simple.  All cellular phone numbers must be registered to an owner within six months’ time. On April 12, that six-month window closed and the government has ordered the companies to terminate all unregistered accounts but not before a three month extension period passes.

A “deadline” has been extended once again and procrastinators have another three months to register their cellular phone numbers. However, a disconnection order has been issued for the first time since cellular phone registration became mandatory. All unregistered cellular phone accounts will be disconnected as of noon Friday, July 13.

The benefits of being able to link a number with a name are numerous but the most immediate need for phone registration is to deter or delay criminal activity. It is a known fact that many criminals use cell phones to set up hits and orchestrate other crimes. When there is evidence that a cell phone was used in the committal of a crime, investigators can use the number of the cell phone and trace it to a name. 

Other benefits include consumer protection. Cell phone theft is a common occurrence. In many instances, there is more credit in a phone than the phone is worth. And, the number is always worth more than both the phone and credit combined. By registering one’s phone, that chip could be cancelled within minutes of the theft by using Digicell’s 24-hour hotline and answering a couple security questions. The chip will be frozen, the number will be returned and credit will be transferred to the customer’s new chip. 

The registration process takes about 5 minutes to complete. One only has to visit their closest Telemedia office with a photo ID card (Passport, Social Security, Drivers License) and answer a few basic questions. The process is free of cost.