4 January 2013

Kenya: SIM Registration Law to Be Gazetted

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

The law compelling mobile operators to register all their users is set to be gazzetted today. This will give the regulator, Communication Commision of Kenya legal backing to implement punitive measures against the licencees who do no not comply.

Information PS, Bitange Ndemo said the The Kenya Information and Communications (Registration of subscribers of Telecommunications Services) regulation,2012 will be in place today.

"The object of these regulations is to provide a process for the registration of existing and new subscribers of telecommunication services provided by telecommunications licensees in kenya," reads the regulations.

Operators have been delaying deactivating of unregistered lines since Monday, which had been the set deadline. This could be attributed to fear of losing revenue.

On Wednesday, the PS said operators will be penalised for every unregistered Sim card on their network to the tune of Sh300 000 for each Sim card. mobile users also face a fine of Sh300 000 or three years in prison.

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 last friday, CCK said over 80 per cent of the active 30 million mobile phone service subscribers had registered their simcards Safaricom had the highest number of registered subscribers who stood at 16.7 million compared to the total subscriber base of 19.6 million. This translates to 85.2 per cent registration rate.

Airtel came in second having registered 3,877,475 subscribers compared to the 4.7 million customers it has, translating to a rate of 82.5 per cent.

Essar's Yu mobile phone service brand registered 2,101,602 subscribers as at end of day last Friday, a 65 per cent registration rate.

Orange came in last with only 61 per cent of its subscribers having been registered translating to 2,001,397 out of the active 3,279,590 total subscriber number.

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