The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has given mobile phone network operators a 60-day window to comply with the deactivation of lines of their subscribers who fail to register SIM cards within the required time frame. The move by the regulator to deactivate non-registered sim cards is aimed at prompting further compliance to enable it to achieve its ultimate goal to weed out fraudsters and other criminals.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the 60 days is not an extension but a period for mobile operators to take certain actions including denial of service to prompt further compliance. These steps include graduated denial of service to SIM card holders not duly registered and eventual deactivation,” the authority said.
The Communication Authority had earlier in April extended the deadline for SIM card registration by another six months, a time frame that lapsed last week leaving some mobile subscribers in the dark.
“All the mobile operators were by the midnight of October 15, 2022, expected to ensure that all subscribers had updated their SIM card registration details in line with the law. Taking into account the improved level of performance so far, operators are directed to take additional steps to ensure 100 per cent compliance in the next 60 days,” said CA in a statement on Monday.
As of now, the authority has reported a 93% compliance rate by Safaricom PLC out of its total 42.53 million users while Airtel had a compliance rate of 81.2% and coming in last was Telkom Kenya which currently has 3.42 million users. The telcos have however been urged to comply with the directives failure to which they will be liable to hefty fines.
“Any mobile operator found non-compliant shall be liable to regulatory measures including a penalty of up to 0.5 per cent of their annual gross turnover,” said CA.
By Lavin Atieno