The Spanish government has decided to go ahead with permanently disconnecting all pre-paid mobile phone numbers which fail to get registered by Midnight on Sunday. The government did not agree to a request by Redtel for temporary suspension of the numbers till the time they were registered.
This means that as many as three million numbers will be disconnected by Monday. However, it is believed that only one-third of these numbers are really in use, generally used by pensioners in times of emergencies.
The decision to permanently disconnect all unregistered pre-paid numbers has been taken keeping the Madrid train bombings of 2004 in mind, where unregistered pre-paid phones were used. However, the experts are doubtful of the success of this measure, owing to a large scale black market in numbers and the option of getting anonymous numbers from other countries.
Two years ago, the Law for the Conservation of Data in Electronic Communications was brought into effect in Spain according to which all phone companies have to track and record the origin and destination of calls in addition to the identity of the persons involved in the call.