Counterfeit handset crackdown to be ‘humane’

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Counterfeit handset crackdown to be ‘humane’

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.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

Minister urges Rwandan girls to enter ICT careers

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, has called on Rwandan girls to take up studies and careers in ICT as these offer a chance for them to enhance their skills and tackle unemployment challenges. Read More

Rwanda ranked first globally in ICT promotion

The Global Information Technology Report (GITR) 2015 has ranked Rwanda first globally in Government Success in ICT promotion to drive social and economic transformation. Read More

Uganda NBI Phase 3 to commence

Phase 3 of Uganda’s National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) has been approved by Government and is now set to commence. Read More

Kenyan tech development held back by corruption - Ndemo

Kenya’s development as a tech hub in East Africa is being held back by corruption and “tender-preneurs” says Dr Bitange Ndemo, former PS at the Ministry of ICT. Read More

Zambian president witnesses MoU signing with Huawei

The President of the Republic of Zambia, H.E. Edgar Lungu, met with Huawei Senior Vice President Mr. Dafeng Li during his visit to Shenzhen in China. Read More

East African countries to expand One-Network-Area to data, mobile money

Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda will in the next year extend the One-Network-Area concept to data and mobile money. Read More

APC judgment: NCC seeks stay of execution

NCC is seeking a stay of execution of judgement following a notice of appeal against the High Court judgement that it violated the rights of the APC. Read More

Digital can overcome Africa’s challenges – Ivory Coast PM

Africa has serious challenges and to overcome them, the continent needs to go the digital route, Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said at the 2015 Africa IT & Telecom Forum (AITTF) last week.  Read More

NCC postpones 2.6GHz spectrum auction again

Nigeria’s telecoms industry regulator has again postponed the proposed auctioning of the 2.6 gigahertz (GHZ) spectrum band. Read More

Public private partnerships panacea to broadband development, says Etisalat chief

Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group, Ahmad Julfar has identified public private partnership (PPP) as one approach that could help African countries boost broadband development. He argued that access to broadband is a basic right for everyone. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

e-commerce space untapped, says phonekings heade-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head

E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College

The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India. 

COMPANY NEWS

ICT skills in Kenya to grow as ICT Authority and Microsoft sign MOU

Kenya’s ICT Authority and Microsoft have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will, among other things, see Microsoft offer support in providing a platform that will ...