The Vietnamese Ministry of Information has announced that starting in April, all mobile phone numbers linked to personal information that does not match Vietnam’s official national database will be locked. Notifications of this plan have already been sent to such phone numbers.
Telecom providers have warned unverified mobile phone number users with at least one text message a day for five consecutive days, requesting that users update their personal data. If the registered personal information is not updated and verified after 15 days, the numbers will not be able to make outgoing calls or send text messages. After another 15 days, the numbers will not be able to receive calls or messages. If the data is not updated after an additional 30 days, the numbers’ contracts will be terminated.
Telecom providers have until March 15 to notify users with mis-registered numbers. The one-way locking of unverified phone numbers will begin after March 31.
Vietnam has 127 million mobile phone numbers in use, 96% of which belong to Vinaphone, Viettel or MobiFone, according to the Authority. Representatives from each of these providers said they each have over a million mobile phone numbers linked to faulty data.
Users can update their information through apps, websites, or in person at Vinaphone locations. Personal data and documents not yet available in the national database will need to be manually verified in person at a physical location, according to a Vinaphone representative.
A Viettel representative said that getting everyone to register their phone numbers with their correct personal information will be a challenge. The provider has already sent text messages to such numbers asking them to update their information, but very few have responded.
This phone number verification process is part of a government project on national database development and digitization. The project aims to foster social stability and prevent the inappropriate use of SIM cards, among other goals.