28 January 2013

Zambia: Ban On Counterfeit Phones Coming

ZAMBIA is in the process of banning the use and trade in all counterfeit and uncertified mobile phones in the country this year in an effort to curb security threats and halt the illegal trade in these gadgets.

The Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) said with the planned introduction of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) registration, the process of banning counterfeit phones in Zambia was expected to start soon.

In a statement, ZICTA said it was expected that counterfeit mobile phones with fake IMEIs would be eliminated from the Zambian market. This will be done by blocking such phones from accessing Mobile networks in Zambia. .

"Once the IMEI registration is implemented, these counterfeit phones will not be able to work on any network in this country," ZICTA said.

Introduction of IMEI registration would be announced to the general public in due course and this expected to in turn, wipe out the counterfeit phones with fake IMEI as they would be blocked from all networks in Zambia.

ZICTA has assured members of the public that they would be given adequate notice for this registration exercise.

"The list of effects is endless but most prominent is the compromise on the quality of service these phones cause. Security, health, environmental threats, and compromise on standards, are some of the perceived effects of counterfeit phones on humans and markets. It is in this regard that ZICTA is working closely with relevant organisations such as the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) to curb both the importation and use of these products in Zambia," ZICTA said.

In accordance with the ICT Act number 15 of 2009, ZICTA is conferred with the responsibility to approve all equipment used in the provision of electronic communication, mobile phones inclusive.

ZICTA would work closely with ZABS to ensure that ICT equipment such as mobile phones used in Zambia, were of a specified standard.

ZICTA to ensure that the ban of counterfeit and uncertified mobile phones in Zambia is successfully implemented, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ZABS and ZRA to enhance collaboration.

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