Backlash fears over fake phones

Kenya’s operators are expected to meet soon to discuss a directive that they switch off services to all counterfeit phone owners.

The Communications Commission of Kenya has given the operators until the end of September to cut services to all subscribers with counterfeit cellphones.

With illegal and grey market handsets a growing problem, the regulator has instructed operators to use the IMEI numbers to determine which phones have been illegally brought to market, and to blacklist these devices.

However, up to three million subscribers, many of whom may not be aware that they have illegal handsets, may be affected.

Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, Telkom Kenya and Essar are expected to meet soon to discuss the new directive.

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