Communications Authority of Kenya has asked Kenyans to ensure that their Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards are registered by the end of April lest they lose their lines and telecommunications services are suspended.
The enforcement of the regulations by the Communications Authority comes after a noticeable multitude of unregistered SIM cards in the country are being sold to folks by unlicensed operators and agents, says Julius Lenaseiyan of CA’s Telcom Compliance, Licensing and Standards.
The new guidelines are also supposed to tame fraudulent use of SIM cards as well as update the Subscriber information data bases.
According to CA, most unregistered cards have been found to be with the old folks who had bought their mobile phones before 2015 when there was ineffective law.
“The SIM card regulations 2015 now stipulates that the Mobile operators namely Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom should re-register their subscribers by updating their details with a digital passport size photo of the customers.
“A person who intends to register a SIM-card shall provide verifiable registration particulars which include a national ID for citizens and passports for refugees and other outsiders,” Lenaseiyan stated.
During the registration process, telecommunications operators have been urged to keenly verify identification documents provided by users with the Integrated Population Registration System (IPRS).
The regulatory body says they will soon enforce compliance of the regulations by periodically auditing the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) subscriber registration and management systems as well carry out quarterly and annual reports from the operators on the implementation of the regulations.
“Hawkers and Agents who contravene the regulations will also be arrested,” The CA official said during a media capacity building workshop for business writers.
According to CA, although the process of registering SIM cards has been ongoing, it has become slow with operators always calling for extended time to consult their customers and thus the reason the Authority is giving a timeline and encouraging operators to notify all their unregistered subscribers of its intention to suspend the telecommunication services failure to follow the provisions of these regulations.
By Evelyne Musyoka and Wangari Ndirangu