General

Over 60,000 unregistered cellphones disconnected

Some 65,000 prepaid cellphone users missed the deadline to register their phones last Friday night, July 13, and had their service cut off.

Despite two extensions from the initial deadline announced in March, many subscribers failed to come in to their service provider and register their phones.

Of these, almost 45,000 were Belize Telemedia customers, the rest were clients of Smart Speednet. BTL Public Relations Manager Anjali Vasquez, said the company had even kept its offices open on Saturday, July 7, to facilitate the registration process, but many did not capitalize on that opportunity.

Vasquez said that Telemedia is offering a service suspension ‘grace’ period during which customers whose service were interrupted may still come in to register their phones and get back their same number, and whatever credit they had.

The same rules apply as before: they will need to bring proper identification such as passport or Social Security card, and a proof of address.

Telemedia offices did a brisk trade when they opened on Saturday, July 14, to accommodate those customers who had been cut off and who wished to reconnect their phones, and many more thronged the offices on Monday, July 16.

Smart customers have been offered a similar grace period during which their service is suspended, but they may still get their same number with whatever credit was on their account, once they come in to register, Smart Public Relations Officer Ian Courtenay said.

Once the grace period is over in the next few weeks, those numbers will be deactivated and put back into the system and will be re-issued to new customers, whatever credit was on the account will be lost to the previous owner.

Of course, a number of the unregistered numbers are due to lost phones where the SIM card has been lost or stolen, so those numbers may never be registered until they are re-issued to a new customer.

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