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Communications Authority issues direction to Multibyte Info Technology Limited in respect of its contravention of Telecommunications (Registration of SIM Cards) Regulation
     The Communications Authority (CA) announced today (October 21) its decision to issue a direction pursuant to section 36B(1)(a) of the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap. 106) to Multibyte Info Technology Limited (Holder of Services-based Operator Licence No. 1687) (Multibyte) in respect of its contravention of section 5 of the Telecommunications (Registration of SIM Cards) Regulation (Cap. 106AI) (the Regulation) and clause 3.3.1 of the Guidelines on Implementation of Real-name Registration for SIM Cards (the Guidelines).
     The Regulation took effect on September 1, 2021, to implement the real-name registration programme for subscriber identification module (SIM) cards. The CA issued the Guidelines on August 20, 2021, to provide practical and administrative guidance to telecommunications service providers for implementation of the real-name registration programme in compliance with the Regulation. Under the Regulation and Guidelines, all new pre-paid SIM (PPS) cards and new service plan SIM cards issued after March 1, 2022, shall complete real-name registration before service activation. The old ones issued before the said date are required to complete real-name registration on or before February 23, 2023. Otherwise, the relevant PPS cards cannot be used after the deadline.
     The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) conducted an investigation into a case regarding a suspected failure by Multibyte to ensure completion of real-name registration for certain subscriptions to its eSender service provided and activated on or after March 1, 2022. Having considered OFCA’s assessment and Multibyte's representations, the CA concluded that Multibyte had breached section 5 of the Regulation and clause 3.3.1 of the Guidelines. The CA's direction was hence issued to Multibyte today (October 21) requiring it to, among others, ensure real-name registration shall be completed within five weeks from the date of the direction for all subscriptions to the eSender service activated between March 1, 2022, and October 20, 2022. Any such subscriptions remaining unregistered upon expiry of the aforementioned deadline (i.e. November 25, 2022) shall be deactivated.
     For details, please refer to the CA's Direction (www.coms-auth.hk/filemanager/statement/en/upload/607/Direction_Multibyte.pdf) published on the CA's website.
Ends/Friday, October 21, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:01
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