Communications Ministry Suggests Russians Switch to FSS-Approved SIM Cards

UrBC, Moscow, August 20, 2018. A bill proposed by Russia’s Communications Ministry is now available on the federal web portal for draft laws and regulations. Under the terms of the proposed legislation, mobile carriers will have to use Federal Security Service-approved encryption for their SIM cards, which might mean all current subscribers would have to switch to new-format SIMs.

So far, an amendment has been made to the bill following negotiations with the country’s leading ISPs/mobile carriers and experts (MTS, VimpelCom, MegaFon, Rostelecom, and the International Communications Academy) to the effect that the proposed regulations should not apply to SIM cards the carriers used prior to the new legislature coming into force.

Although the Communications Ministry has already approved of the draft bill on the whole, a recommendation (containing some criticism) has been made to improve a number of points.

It is stated, for one, that the proposed SIM card regulations would, in point of fact, halt the telecommunications sector’s technological development and keep it ‘frozen’ at no further point than the one reached within the last few years. Moreover, the new legislation would make it obligatory for the phone/tablet users to actually use SIM cards, whereas the global trend has been to give them up altogether.


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