2 February 2013

Kenya: Over Four Million Unregistered Simcards Switched Off

The four mobile network operators say they have collectively suspended about 4.4 million users unregistered users out of the targeted 6.1 million. This represents over 70 per cent compliance with new law.

Over one million might be disconnected from the networks in the next 10 days if they will not have registered as the operators strive to avoid heavy penalties.

Airtel says it has barred over 670,000 users from its network out of the targeted 823,000 users. Orange has blocked 860,000 out of the 1.2 million unregistered users it had at the beginning of the year.

Essar has suspended an estimated 400,000 where it is targeting 1.13 million users on its network. The company says sim registrations have risen from 2.1 million to 2.67 million in January.

Safaricom on Thursday announced it had completed the process having blocked 2.5 million users. At the end of last year, it had about 2.9 unregistered users.

The Kenya Information and Communications Act was amended last year to provide for the registration of telecommunication subscribers and require mobile operators to maintain a register of all persons to whom they offer telecommunications services. According to the Act, operators who do not comply will attract the Sh300,000 fine for every unregistered Simcard on their network.

The regulations outlining the procedures were gazetted on January 11 which means operators have 30 days to comply or start paying the penalty. Suspended mobile users have a 90 day window within which they must register or lose their lines permanently.

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