Spanish operators have blocked some three million prepay SIM cards from making or receiving phone calls pending their owners registering their ownership details. Users of the unregistered SIMs will get an automatic message played when trying to make a phone call instructing them to visit a local retailer.
The operators were due to completely cut off the phones, but a last minute agreement by Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, gives the SIM card owners up to six months to register their ownership before the lines go dead - and losing any prepay credit they may contain.
The government considered a law to require all mobile phone users to register their ownership details with the network operators following the Madrid terrorist attack, which involved the use of anonymous SIM cards. The current legislation came into effect in 2007.
Earlier this year, the Interior Ministry launched a media campaign to remind mobile phone users to register their details.
According to statistics from the Mobile World analysts, the country had 54 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of June - representing a population penetration level of 133%.
Source: Cellular News