Cellular phone users in Honduras have been notified that every cell phone number in Honduras must be registered with a service provider prior to May 14, 2012, or the phone will have its service discontinued. Users will have a warning period of five days after the May 14th deadline, wherein they can use their cell phone to call emergency numbers only. By May 19th, unregistered cell phone numbers will cease to function.
Miguel Velez, President of the National Commission of Telecommunications (Conatel), reported that this is a necessary step in order to implement the Decree of Telephonic Interventions (Ley de Intervenciones Telefónicas), which aims to reduce the availability of cell phones for the commission of crimes such as kidnapping, extortion and blackmail.
According to Velez, there are 7.8 million cellular numbers distributed throughout the country; 5% of those are postpaid or use plans, which are fully identified. The other 95%, however, will be affected by this law.
Cell phone numbers must be registered with operators such as Tigo, Digicel, Claro or Hondutel.
Users who improperly use their phones will be turned over to the Public Ministry for criminal prosecution.