Over 11 million SIM cards set for deactivation on registration deadline

Over 11 million SIM cards set for deactivation on registration deadline

An estimated 11.5 million SIM cards are set for deactivation as the deadline to update SIM registration deadline lapses on Saturday, October 15.

Data obtained from telecommunication operators as of the close of business on Thursday shoes 53.2 million SIM cards had their registration details duly updated.

This to leave a balance of 11.5 million SIM cards out of the 64.7 million total mobile (SIM) subscriptions as of the end of June according to data from the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA).

Leading telecoms provider Safaricom hit a registration compliance rate of 91 per cent or 38 million duly registered lines as of the close of business on Thursday.

In contrast, Airtel had 13.4 million SIM cards duly registered to represent a 78 per cent rate of compliance while Telkom had the lowest compliance rate at 40 per cent or 1.8 million SIM cards.

The SIM registration exercise is set to draw to a conclusion at midnight on Sunday after which unregistered SIM’s will be shut off from services including making calls, receiving calls, sending and receiving SMSs’ and accessing mobile data.

Customers will nevertheless have the opportunity to re-register with their telecoms provider with SIM registration set to be a continuous exercise.

According to leading telecoms who engaged the public alongside the CA via a webinar on Friday, the registration exercise which was extended by a further six months on April 15 covers the regularization of SIM registries with the goal of tackling fraudulent SIM registration and fraud.

The operators have already been deactivating SIM cards ahead of the Saturday deadline.

CA data for instance shows a total of 411,903 SIM cards were deactivated between January and June this year.

“During the 2021-2022 financial year, the mobile phone telephone service sub-sector was marked by a significant regulatory intervention that involved updating the registration details of all SIM cards in the country. This exercise resulted in deactivation of SIM cards registered under the wrong identification details,” the CA said in its quarterly report to June.

The deactivation of SIM cards has dragged the mobile SIM penetration rate to 130.9 per cent as of June from 133.4 per cent in March.

Of the total mobile (SIM) subscriptions, Safaricom had 42.5 million SIM cards on record as of June ahead of Airtel’s 17 million and Telkom’s 3.2 million.

Jamii Telecom and Finserve (Equitel) meanwhile had 272,392 and 1.4 million SIM subscriptions respectively.

Non-compliance with the registration exercise is set to attract fines for both operators and subscribers.

The CA nevertheless backed the SIM deactivations from Sunday to bolster subscriber compliance.

Kenyans who have their lines (SIM cards) blocked will have the opportunity to register upon the presentation of requisite documentation to their service providers.


SIM cards Citizen Digital Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) Citizen TV Kenya

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