The Ministry of Information and Communications has announced a new regulation requiring people buying mobile phone SIM cards to directly register their personal information with authorised agencies.

A circular that came into effect from this month also makes it illegal for shops to sell activated SIM cards.

After registering, subscribers have to activate and use the new number within 72 hours, failing which the registration will be cancelled.

Each person is allowed to register for a maximum of three SIM cards from a particular mobile phone operator.

The agencies collecting subscribers' personal details are required to keep it confidential.

The millions of pre-paid subscribers in the country who have yet to register their personal information have to now do so within three months or have their services cut off.

This close oversight will prevent subscribers from using mobile phones without registering their correct details, something that is enabled until now by shops selling activated cards.-VNA.