280K Simcards Shut Down Ahead of Registration Deadline

  • A person using a mobile phone
    A person using a mobile phone.
  • Telecommunication companies have deactivated over 280,000 Sim cards ahead of the registration deadline slated for October 15.

    The switched-off lines had wrong details, while others were acquired illegally according to the Communications Authority (CA) statement dated Thursday, September 22. 

    While warning those who have not yet registered their sim cards, the regulator noted that the number is projected to rise when the exercise ends. 

    CA argued that the directive is aimed at curbing fraud and creating a proper recognition system for mobile phone operators in the country.

    The Sim Cards fraud is a widely used tactic by Con gangs in Nairobi.
    The sim cards fraud is a widely used tactic by con gangs in Nairobi.

    To register, subscribers were required to present their identification details and medium-sized photos. Telcos further opened an online platform allowing users to register.

    The October 15 extension followed a last-minute rash by Kenyans. Initially, all users who had not registered their lines were supposed to be deactivated on April 15.

    CA Director General further added that the extension was meant to ensure 100 per cent compliance.

    "In order to ensure that operators meet their obligation, the Authority has decided to extend the SIM card registration validation period for a further six (6) months. The new deadline for updating subscriber registration details will be October 15, 2022," Chiloba stated.

    In the first round of registration, 124,689 sim cards were deactivated. The move pushed down total subscriptions from 64.9 million to the current 64.7 million, according to quarterly statistics by CA.

    The move to register and regulate mobile phone usage occurred after the country recorded 92.8 million cyber threat incidents.

    In the revised draft of the Kenya Information and Communications (Registration of Telecommunications Service Subscribers) Regulations, 2022, all subscribers were required not to own more than ten sim cards.

    The draft regulation also expected parents and guardians to provide their full details when registering minors.

    Telecommunications companies and subscribers that do not comply with the draft regulations will face severe penalties

    File image of a phone user perusing a gadget.
    File image of a phone user perusing a gadget.
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