Kenya effects war against counterfeit phones

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: Bob Collymore. By Safaricom
Bob Collymore

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Around two million Kenyans using counterfeit phones will be forced to acquire genuine ones following the much anticipated switch-off of all fake handsets.

Leading mobile operator Safaricom says the mandatory exercise, which began at midnight on September 30, 2012 impacted over 680,000 customers out of its 19.1 million subscriber base.

The Industry regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), had issued the directive to the industry compelling all service providers to ensure that counterfeit phones were blocked from accessing Kenyan mobile networks with effect from September 30 2012.

Although Safaricom said that it was too early to assess the financial implications of the blocking exercise, it confirmed that initial analysis of the customers impacted so far clearly indicated that the areas around Nairobi, Rift Valley, Central and Eastern were hardest hit by the exercise. Combined, these areas accounted for more than 60% of the targeted counterfeit phones.

 “We deeply regret the inconvenience and anxiety that this exercise has caused amongst our customers. We realise that they have little to do with presence of these counterfeit devices in the country and it is unfortunate that they have had to shoulder the negative consequences of the same. In order to mitigate the inconvenience we have been contacting all affected customers and providing them with the option of purchasing affordable genuine phones or redeeming their Bonga Loyalty Scheme Points for new handsets,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.

Collymore urged all operators to play their part and diligently block the counterfeit devices based on lists they receive from the other networks.

“We recognise that blocking handsets alone is not the long term solution and we call for more support to the CCK by related Government agencies to block entry and sale of the counterfeit devices and to step up prosecution of those who engage in their illegal importation and sale.”

He called on the Government to reconsider the impending decision to impose VAT on mobile phones saying that the move would make genuine mobile phones unaffordable to the majority of Kenyans and instead fuel the black market trading of counterfeits.

The number of counterfeit handsets in use around the country is estimated at over two million, and it is feared that once switched off the handsets will end up in landfills, contributing to the growing e-waste threat in the country.

A research conducted by Nokia in late 2011 indicated that only 14% of Kenyans were aware that mobile phones could be recycled, and only 2% were actively recycling these devices.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

Search News

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

Lawmakers want TSA investigated

Nigeria’s lower house, the House of Representatives, is making moves to investigate how much has come into the Treasury Single Account (TSA). Read More

BVN fished out 40,000 ghost workers

Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment says the Bank Verification Number introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria has saved the Federal Government billions of naira. Read More

Kenya embraces online motor vehicle registration to fight corruption

In a bid to weed out corruption and increase efficiency in the road transport sector, the Kenyan government is set to unveil online vehicle registration. Read More

Botswana Post opens new money transfer corridors

BotswanaPost says it has launched another two money transfer routes – to Lesotho Postal Services and Swaziland Postal Services.   Read More

International Conference on the Internet on in Gaborone

The University of Botswana is hosting the First International Conference on the Internet, Cyber Security and Information Systems in Gaborone to the 20th May 2016 at The Gaborone International Convention Center (GICC).  Read More

Again, NCC’s 2.6GHz spectrum auctions fall through

The planned 2.6 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction scheduled by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may have fallen through. Read More

Government rules out OTT regulation in Ghana

Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Communication, Ato Sarpong, has told key industry players in Accra that the government has no intention of regulating over-the-top operations in the country.  Read More

Rwanda, MasterCard collaborate on cashless society

The Government of Rwanda has announced a collaboration with MasterCard to fast-track the country’s move to include 90 percent of its citizens in the financial mainstream. Read More

Mobile spam: NCC reads riot act to telcos

Worried by a flurry of complaints, the Nigerian Communications Commission has warned mobile network operators to take decisive action to curb unsolicited text messages and calls to customers. Read More

NCC chief urges Fed Govt to relax forex policy

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has urged the Federal Government to consider relaxing its forex policy for telecommunications companies. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage EnterpriseSAP AfricaTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks UnlimitedArbor NetworksEricssonTigo Ghana

FEATURED STORY

Government should encourage youths in ICT earlyGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early

Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.

Advertisement

IN DEPTH

IBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South AfricaIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa

IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.  

COMPANY NEWS

Tigo, JI and GES equip teachers on child online protection initiative

Tigo, in partnership with J Initiative (JI), a youth focused non-governmental organisation in Ghana, have committed to protecting children online through policy advocacy, awareness creation, public education ...

Ericsson and King’s College London demonstrate 5G tactile robotic surgery

Ericsson and King’s College London will be demonstrating a 5G use case of tactile robotic surgery at 5G World 2016 in London on 29-30 June.