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Kenyan Govt to Switch Off Mobile Phones of unregistered users

The government has announced a mass switch-off targeting mobile users who have failed to adhere to registration regulations. In the latest clean-up exercise, millions of mobile subscribers face disconnection for failing to register their SIM cards.

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) on Thursday, March 3, announced that these subscribers registered their sim cards without providing their photos and correct identification details.

"The regulations state that proper SIM card registration includes a photo ID, and since 2017 we have asked mobile service providers to comply, but they have not," CA stated.

According to the regulator, the switch has been set for April 15 to allow more time for telecommunication companies to inform their subscribers.

"They have asked for more time to reach out to their subscribers, but we have reached a compromise date, and they have to do it by April 15."

Those who are likely to be affected by the switch include those who registered their sim cards between 2002 and 2015.

"This is mostly going to affect those who registered their SIM cards between 2002 and 2015, and we find that they are mostly older subscribers who are reluctant to provide their photo IDs," CA added.

The directive will also affect users with multiple sim cards with no proper registration. This is in line with the latest push to enforce vigorous sim card regulations and introduce the future of capturing biometric data.

Before the SIM cards cease being operational, the regulator is expected to issue a seven day notice to all those targeted. Sim card registration helps the country monitor and keep track of all subscribers. It also aids telecommunication companies to protect other users from cases of online fraud.

"The mobile service providers have the obligation enforced by law of ensuring that the information collected from a subscriber is kept secure and confidential," CA notes.

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