Safaricom yesterday announced it has disconnected 2.5 million unregistered users from its network, weeks before the new regulations take effect.
Mobile operators have up to February 11 to have all users on their network registered, after which they will start attracting heavy penalties. The regulations for mandatory registration of subscribers were published on January 11 and take effect after 30 days.
Safaricom said it has completed the switchoff process. this was done in three phases where the final phase cut off 1.3 million users.
"We are conscious of the fact that the failure to comply with the law could make Kenyans more vulnerable to fraud and criminal activities from those who continue to use unregistered SIM cards," the company's corporate affairs director, Nzioka Waita said in a statement.
By the end of December, there were over 6 million unregistered mobile users in the country. Safaricom had 2.9 million, Airtel had 800 000, Essar with 1.1 million and Orange had 1.2 million.
Operators will be fined Sh300 000 for each unregistered sim card using their network. Suspended mobile users have a 90 day window within which they must register or lose their lines permanently.