The Star (Nairobi)

31 December 2012

Kenya: Phone Lines With Unregistered Sims to Go Dead Tonight

All unregistered sim cards by midnight will be switched off. The deadline will not be extended, Communications commission of Kenya public affairs ... ( Resource: Kenya to Switch Off Unregistered SIM Cards

If you have not registered your Sim card by today midnight, you will not be able to make calls, receive or access any other mobile services.

The Communication Commission of Kenya and mobile operators are set to switch off all the unregistered lines today. "Yes the deadline still stands. After midnight tomorrow(Monday, December 31) all those unregistered lines will be off," said CCK director general Francis Wangusi on the phone.

He said the regulator met with the operators last week in preparation for the process. By December 21, Safaricom said it had registered up to 90 per cent of its users while Essar Telecom said only 34 per cent of its customers were registered. Airtel had registered p to 80 per cent.

There is an estimated over 30 million Sim cards in the market in use through mobile phones, internet modems and tablet computers.

The mobile network operators have been on an aggressive media drive to have their subscribers register their lines as they are bound to lose revenue by disconnecting their users. CCK and the four operators are set to hold a press briefing today to give an update on those who will be affected.

"As long as you have not registered you will not receive any service. But once you have identified yourself with the line, your services will resume," Wangusi said.

The move to register all subscribers was prompted by the rising incidences of mobile phone perpetrated crimes, including kidnappings, fraud and hate messages.

The registration process has taken more than two years to be finalised. CCK first launched the drive in 2010, but the process was not successful as it lacked legal backing.

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

The new registration rules ave since been provided for in the amended Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 where operators now have a legal obligation to switch off unregistered SIM cards and failure to act accordingly could attract penal consequences.

The lines cut-off is also meant to complement the counterfeit handsets switch off implemented earlier in the year. In October,the operators following direction by the regulator, blocked up to 1.89 counterfeit phones in use in the market.

These was meant to eliminate risks associated with substandard phones such as health, environmental as well as the loss of revenue to genuine device makers and government. Counterfeit phones were also blamed for poor service experienced by mobile subscribers.

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