The Star (Nairobi)

10 October 2012

Kenya: CCK Sets December 31 for SIM Card Registration

The Communications Commission of Kenya has now embarked on ensuring all sim cards are registered and has set a December 31 timeline.

The regulator which has just emerged from enforcing the switching off of fake mobile phones says it will soon launch the sim registration regulations and a timetable for public awareness and the disconnection day.

"Our projection is that by the end of December all sim cards be registered. We will also be announcing the date soon," said CCK Director General Francis Wangusi yesterday.

The sim card registration process was initially meant to go hand in hand with the switch off of counterfeit mobile handsets to fulfill the objective of fighting mobile propagated crimes like kidnappings, fraud and hate messages.

Wangusi said mobile network operators are prepared to complete the process and some of them have already been carrying out voluntary campaigns on their networks.

Two years ago, the commission had embarked on the registration but it was unsuccessful since there was no law that compelled operators to switch off unregistered customers. But an amendment to the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 now gives the move legal backing.

Mobile users also felt discouraged to physically present themselves at specific mobile cpmpany offices or agents for registration but the operators are now giving other options like registering through SMS.

"There are various modern methods to go about it, but we are still studying them to see which one will best suit our purpose," said Wangusi

By end of September 2010 when the last registration round was put on hold, about 62 per cent out of the then estimated 20 million mobile users then had registered their numbers.

Wangusi was speaking during the World Post Day marked yesterday. On Monday he warned 'experts' reprogramming counterfeit phones that have been switched off to stop as they risk a jail term of not less than five years or a fine of not less than Sh1 million or both.

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