Following calls from various quarters, including consumers and the Ghana Chamber of Telecoms, the National Communications Authority (NCA) has given in to demands for an extension of the SIM registration deadline, and has extended it for another 90 days. The new deadline is now 30 September, 2011, and there would not be any deactivation of services till then.

According to Paarock Vanpercy, the director general of the NCA, the extended period will be used to encourage and get all those who have not yet registered their SIMs to do so. Additionally, this period will be used to properly verify the registration process, so that names of those who presented fraudulent IDs to have their SIMs registered, will be taken out of the system and made to re-register properly. So far, 10.3 million out of over 17 million SIMs have been validated as correct. According to the NCA, there are about two million subscribers whose details are yet to be verified, and this will be done using the Electoral Commission's (EC) data system, and through manual means, if records are not found in the EC's system.

Evidently, with the myriad of problems facing registration, many observers believe it was a prudent decision to extend the deadline. Some consumers who would have been affected by the first deadline of June 30 had threatened to sue the NCA if the regulator had gone ahead with its earlier plans.

In a related development, the NCA has also extended the start date for the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) system from July 1, to July 7. The MNP allows mobile phone subscribers to change network providers while maintaining their original phone number.