VELA SIM Registration

05 November 2018

The daily average of VELA SIM registration drops

Swaziland CEO
Often, when figures drop, it is never a sign of success. Not unless the drop relates to commodity prices, or the ongoing VELA SIM card registration process where the daily average of SIM cards registered has dropped from about 8 000 to slightly over 2 400 in the just-concluded month, October.

As more subscribers comply with the SIM Registration Regulation of 2016, MTN Eswatini had cumulatively registered 700, 000 SIM cards by the end of October 2018.

With slightly over 60 per cent of the customer base covered, it was expected that new SIM registrations will continue to drop.

Yet, at the pinnacle of the VELA SIM card registration, MTN would register up to 10, 000 registration per day. This was made possible by hundreds of foot soldiers and agents deployed across the country. In June, for instance, MTN registered the largest number of SIM cards which totaled 194, 729.

The other notable development in the VELA SIM registration by MTN is that the number of rejected registration is drastically declining as reflected largely in the last week of October.

While the average rejection rate was pegged at about 19 per cent, there are days in October where it dipped down to 6 per cent, confirming that the registration process is improving over time.

One of the key contributors to the decline in rejections is that the MTN team facilitating SIM registration, currently made of 924-foot soldiers, including agents, consistently reviews what is done each week to explore new ways of overcoming challenges through training and communication across all the teams on the ground.

"Additionally, MTN has, on average, managed to retain the same teams of foot soldiers so that through their experience in the field, the subscriber registration process and customer experience is improved as well," explains MTN's Mlondi Mpanza who is often on the ground to provide oversight to selected teams of foot soldiers.

While the process of registering SIM cards is expected to proceed until April next year, MTN continues to explore ways and means to come close to all its subscribers way before the deadline.

This has been the aspiration since the start of the VELA SIM card registration process.

Road shows, weekend door-to-door activations, and lately evening registration are some of the approaches MTN has employed to make SIM registration accessible.

"With the introduction of evening registration, those who are not accessible during the day because of work commitments can now register their SIM cards in the evening without going out of their way," notes Ernest Mavuso who provides oversight to the entire VELA SIM registration process at MTN.

Notably, the VELA SIM card registration process has opened doors for young people to access temporary jobs, often within their communities, which eliminates the need to board a bus to work. Through this exposure, they have learnt soft skills like interpersonal communication, sales skills and customer experience training, plus reporting skills.

MTN remains grateful to its valued customers who have wasted no time to comply with the country’s telecommunications laws. This was glaringly seen in April when SIM card registration process was launched as 23, 402 subscribers were registered in barely three weeks.

The company is additionally grateful to community leaders who have been catalysts in the VELA SIM registration process, particularly in their communities.

Also enriching the SIM registration process is Eswatini Communications Commission, the telecommunications Regulator, who continues to strengthen awareness through various platforms, on the national importance of subscriber registration, which has made MTN's work much easier

MTN subscribers who are yet to register their SIM cards are encouraged to do so at the nearest service centre.

Additionally, MTN foot soldiers are available, fully equipped, and ready throughout the country, to assist customers to register their SIM cards. Further information on the VELA SIM registration exercise is available through MTN’s Toll-Free line 923, which was launched in May, to exclusively address issues relating to VELA.

By Mandla Luphondvo