The Telecommunications Authority of Kenya (CA) has directed mobile network operators to deny service to subscribers yet to update their SIM cards.

In a statement on Monday, October 17, 2022, Ezra Chiloba, the Director General CA, said the move is aimed at ensuring compliance following the lapse of the registration deadline on Saturday, October 15.

The CA boss gave the telecommunications companies in the country 60 days to achieve 100 per cent compliance.

He noted that in the last eight months, Safaricom’s compliance levels increased from 52 per cent to 93 per cent while Airtel moved from 42 per cent to 81.2 per cent.

The Telkom Kenya case, Chiloba said, is still under review and more details shall be provided upon the conclusion of the review

“All the Mobile Operators were by the midnight of 15th October 2022 expected to ensure that all subscribers had updated their SIM card registration details in line with the law,” Chiloba said.

“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.”

He clarified that the 60-day period is not an extension but a period for the 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,” Chiloba added.

The services to be affected include voice, SMS, data, and mobile banking services.

After the lapse of the 60-day period, the CA boss stated that the authority will undertake a compliance audit to ascertain the level of compliance. Companies found to be non-compliant will face hefty fines.

“Any Mobile Operator found noncompliant shall be liable to regulatory measures including a penalty of up to 0.5 per cent of their Annual Gross Turnover,” Chiloba warned.

The authority had on April 15, 2022, extended the deadline for updating SIM card registration details by a further six months to give mobile operators and subscribers sufficient time to comply.

Chiloba noted that the ongoing registration exercise is key to protecting consumers of telecommunication services and enhancing confidence in the use of ICTs, which are now at the centre of our country’s digital transformation agenda.

“The Authority will be holding further consultations with key policy and industry players on future policy, legal and regulatory interventions that will ensure a more efficient, effective, and transparent process of enlisting subscribers of telecommunication and ICT services,” he added.

The affected subscribers could not be able to, among others, make calls after their lines were deactivated.


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