TCRA blocks 1.7m invalid IMEI numbers

7 Jul 2016

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) switched off 1,713,337 invalid International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEs) numbers on 16 June, according to The Citizen. Innocent Mungy, TCRA’s Head of Corporate Communications, is cited as clarifying: ‘It is not that 1.7 million handsets have been switched off. It is IMEIs that have been switched off. One mobile phone handset can have up to four IMEIs.’ A reported 117,389 IMEIs were found to be duplicates, equating to 0.09% of all IMEIs, with 2.96% of the total said to be invalid, and 96.95% believed to be genuine. TCRA acting Director General James Kilaba warned that users caught duplicating IMEIs risk a fine of TZS10 million (USD13,362), 30 years in jail, or both, in accordance with the Electronic and Postal Communications Act. Six operators have been fined a total TZS651.5 million for violating SIM card registration regulations, namely Benson Informatics, Zantel and the local units of Airtel, Millicom, Viettel and Vodacom.