Counterfeit handset crackdown to be ‘humane’
GOVERNMENT| Aug. 30, 2011, 12:33 p.m.
Kenya’s CCK has given the assurance that the phasing out of counterfeit handsets will be done in such a way that innocent mobile phone users won’t be punished. It is thought that up to three million people could find their phones are fake.
The CCK recently announced a crackdown on grey market and fake mobile phones, with reports that operators would be asked to summarily switch off services to such handsets. This raised fears that millions of consumers who had unwittingly bought grey market devices would suffer.
However, in a statement issued this week, the CCK gave the assurance that the planned phasing out of use of counterfeit handset would be done “iin a humane manner” with minimal inconvenience to mobile telephone users.
Acting CCK Director General Francis Wangusi said CCK would hold a consultative meeting with industry players and other stakeholders on September 9 to discuss the matter with a view to charting a pragmatic solution to the problem.
He said the phasing out of fake handsets was meant to assist mobile users in the recovery of their phones in case of theft through use of tracking equipment. The initiative is also meant to secure mobile money transactions.
Counterfeit phones come with duplicated or tampered with International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers, making it difficult for mobile operators to use Equipment Identification Registers (EIR) to track and de-activate stolen handsets.
IMEI numbers are important in tracking stolen or handsets used to perpetrate crime. Wangusi said governments globally were putting regulatory mechanisms in place to phase out the use of fake handsets. Counterfeit phones have either duplicated or reprogrammed IMEI numbers.
Wangusi said only 9.93% of the total 25 million mobile subscribers in the country have counterfeit handsets, according to data obtained from mobile phone companies. He affirmed CCK’s commitment towards working closely with industry players in order to eliminate all fake handsets in the market.
At the same time, he urged members of the public to buy handsets from authorized dealers to avoid the risks associated with use of counterfeit handsets.
Changing the identity or interfering with operations of a mobile handset or possession of reprogramming equipment is a crime in Kenya which attracts a fine of Kshs 1,000,000 or imprisonment for a term of up to five years or both.
Wangusi called on those engaging in this business to stop doing so immediately before the law enforcement agencies caught up with them.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Tigo Cash first in line to accept e-Goverment payments through IremboTigo Rwanda has announced its partnership with Rwanda Online Platform Ltd (ROPL) for e-Government service payments via the Irembo,gov.rw e-government portal. Read More
SIM deactivation: NCC to sanction telcos over non-complianceThe Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), says it will impose sanctions on Nigeria carriers over partial and non-compliance with its directive to deactivate all SIMs that do not conform to laid down procedures. Read More
Expert wants MDAs to embrace e-revenue collectionAn electronic payment expert, Deremi Atanda, has urged Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to embrace the use of technology, especially the electronic or e-payment platform to collect revenue. Read More
SADC lends weight to STIThe Southern African Development Community (SADC) has put its weight behind the regional initiatives to boost Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Read More
NCA to auction Infrastructure LicenseGhana’s National Communication Authority will soon be auctioning its Infrastructure License to the public. Read More
Telcos get 7-day SIM ultimatumThe Nigerian Communications Commission has handed down a seven-day ultimatum to network providers to deactivate all pre-registered SIM cards or face sanctions. Read More
Prof Danbatta named NCC chiefPresident Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Prof Umar Garba Danbatta as the new Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NCC. Read More
CEO of BOCRA to open SAPOA AGMThari Pheko, The Botswana Communications and Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) Chief Executive Officer will be the guest of honour at the 14th southern Africa Postal Operators Association annual general meeting. Read More
Prof Quaynor calls for greater partnerships within Ghana’s ICT sectorThe Board Chairman of Ghana’s National Information Technology Agency (NITA) Professor Nii Narku Quaynor, has called for a much greater collaboration and partnership within the country’s Information and Communication Technology sector. Read More
August is Science, Technology and Innovation MonthBotswana’s Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST), Hon. Nonofo Molefhi will officially launch the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) month on Tuesday. Read More
FEATURED STORYYoung innovators shine during pitch sessions
Botswana saw an array of upcoming tech wizards selling their ideas during the Vendors’ Day pitch sessions this week.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.