4 January 2013

Kenya: 1.2 Million Unregistered SIM Cards Blocked

Photo: The Star
A poster encouraging people to give up their fake phones.

Nairobi — More than 1.28 million unregistered SIM cards have been suspended from service since the deadline for registration lapsed.

According to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the four local mobile networks had by Friday switched off 1,280,840 unregistered lines, five days after the expiry of the December 31 deadline.

Safaricom leads the pack with 800,000 unregistered SIM cards already off-air. Orange and Yu have suspended 290,000 and 120,010 unregistered lines from service, respectively. Airtel on the other hand has switched off 70,830 unregistered SIM cards.

Releasing the statistics, CCK Director General Francis Wangusi said the disconnection of unregistered SIM cards was progressing well despite initial hitches.

He attributed delays in disconnection of the more than six million unregistered SIM cards to verification of registration data received from dealers and agents countrywide.

"The verification exercise is quite involving as the mobile operators have to ensure that no registered mobile line is suspended from service," said Wangusi.

Wangusi said the overriding aim of the registration exercise is to achieve total compliance.

He made an appeal to those who have not registered their lines to do so within the 90-day period before their SIM cards are permanently de-activated.

Safaricom now has a total of 17.2 million registered subscribers followed by Airtel with 3.8million, Yu 2.3 million, while Orange has 2.1 million users.

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