Kenya's mobile firms switch off over 1.28 mln SIM cards
NAIROBI, Jan 04, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
regulator said on Friday four mobile phone service providers have
switched off more than 1.28 million unregistered SIM cards since
the deadline of the registration exercise.
According to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the
four local mobile networks had by Friday switched off 1,280,840
unregistered lines, five days after the expiry of the Dec. 31,
CCK Director General Francis Wangusi who released the
statistics in Nairobi said the disconnection of unregistered
Simcard was progressing well despite the initial hitches.
"The verification exercise is quite involving as the mobile
operators have to ensure that no registered mobile line is
suspended from service," Wangusi said.
He attributed delays in disconnection of the more than 6
million unregistered SIM cards to verification of registration
data received from mobile line dealers and agents countrywide.
According to Wangusi, Safaricom leads the pack with 800,000
unregistered SIM cards already off-air. Yu and Orange have
suspended 290,000 and 120,010 unregistered lines from service,
Wangusi said Airtel on the other hand has switched off 70,830
unregistered SIM cards. He said the overriding aim of the
registration exercise is to achieve total compliance.
He made an appeal to those who have not registered their lines
to do so within the 90-day period before their SIM cards are
The industry regulator said Airtel had registered 3.88 million
subscribers, Orange 2.11 million and Safaricom 17.2 million while
Yu had 24,785 customers as at Friday.
According to Wangusi 24.78 million had registered as at Dec.
28, 2012 while 751,504 new customers registered during the period.
This is the CCK's second attempt to block unregistered SIM
cards after a 2010 attempt was derailed by a lack of laws to
support the process. The regulator had authorized mobile operators
to switch off nearly 1.5 million fake phones.
The liberalization of the mobile telecoms market has witnessed
massive uptake of mobile telecommunications services in the East
To date, Kenya has more than 30 million mobile subscribers, and
close to 15 million regular Internet users.
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