Kenya moves to block unregistered SIMs

13 Oct 2015

Kenya’s Communications Authority (CA) is preparing to block unregistered SIM cards over the next 90 days, as part of the East African country’s efforts to curb crime committed through the use of mobile phones, The New Times reports. Telecoms operators are required to warn unregistered subscribers that they face the suspension of their service if they fail to provide their personal details. Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, said it was in the process of verifying the details of some SIM cards on its network through the Integrated Population Registration System. ‘Under Safaricom’s current SIM registration process, no SIMs are pre-activated at the point of sale. All customers must provide the required registration documents and register before the SIM card is activated,’ commented Stephen Chege, Safaricom’s corporate affairs director. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the CA launched a SIM registration drive in 2012, which culminated in the deactivation of around 2.4 million mobile lines in the first quarter of 2013.