9 January 2013

Kenya: Airtel Makes Registration of New Subscribers Compulsory

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

Airtel is the first and only operator in Kenya to comply fully with the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) directive on SIM card registration by making it mandatory that all its new SIM cards are registered before being used on the network as from January 02, 2013.

The CCK had directed compliance on SIM registration by December 31, 2012, inspired by the need to stem the rising incidences of mobile phone perpetrated crimes, including kidnaps, extortion, hate speech, money laundering and drug trafficking. This registration requirement directive also applied to those taking up mobile phone services for the first time as well as those buying additional SIM cards.

Airtel had taken the directive seriously, conducting public awareness campaigns all over the country to rally its subscribers to register their lines ahead of the December 31, 2012 deadline on subscriber registration.

In a statement the Airtel Kenya managing director Shivan Bhargava said "We are implementing the directive from CCK to suspend unregistered lines and we will continue to do so until all existing unregistered lines are cleared. We have also made it convenient for our customers to register their lines by simply dialing *800# for the self-registration process. The self-registration menu provides our customers with a simple menu where they fill in all the details required by the CCK including their names, telephone and national ID numbers from the convenience of their handsets."

Mr. Bhargava urged all Airtel subscribers to take advantage of this process andregister their lines immediately to avoid suspension and to enable them to continue enjoying Airtel's affordable quality communication. New subscribers on Airtel are being registered on the spot by the retailers through a short code that provides a menu for registration. The retailer dials *700 # and fills in the details of the customer followed by an immediate confirmation message upon successful completion of the registration process. All new SIMcards offered for sale by the company are only activated upon the successful completion of the subscriber registration process, ensuring that Airtel is fully compliant with the CCK guidelines for the new SIM registration and customer acquisition.

So far Airtel have suspended outgoing call services for 324,033 subscribers out of the targeted 822,526 subscribers on the network. unregistered SIM cards owners were however handed a 90 days reprieve by the regulator toregister their lines failure to which they will be permanently de-activated. According to Communication Commission of Kenya, there are a total of 30.8 million active SIM cards in the country of which 80.4 per cent or24.7 million are registered.

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