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

Water utilities to introduce USSD service

Botswana’s Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) will soon officially launch a service using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), for its customers throughout the country.  Read More

Scatec Solar secures 100 MW Solar Project in Nigeria

Scatec Solar has signed an agreement with CDIL, a Canadian renewable energy development company focused on Africa, and BPS, a Nigerian strategic consulting firm, securing the 100 MW (DC) Nova Scotia Power plant located in Jigawa State, Nigeria.  Read More

Tackling cybercrime requires new skills, says minister

Nigeria's ComTech Minister, Adebayo Shittu, says new skills are needed to address the global threat of cybercrime. Read More

Unsolicited SMS: We’ve given subscribers choice, says NCC

Nigeria’s telecoms sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it has given subscribers the power to choose between receiving unsolicited messages or not through the enforcement of the DND code on the telcos. Read More

NITDA seeks NCC collaboration for 50% GDP growth

The acting Director-General of Nigeria’s NITDA is seeking the collaboration of the NCC to develop the country’s ICT industry to enable it to contribute about 50 per cent to the nation’s GDP. Read More

Amosun, Danbatta settle disputes over 47 BTS shut in Ogun

The outstanding issues which have kept 47 base transmission stations (BTS) under lock and key in Ogun State have been successfully resolved by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta. Read More

ComTech Minister: NITDA recruitment fraudulent

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, has described the last recruitment exercise at the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) fraudulent as it did not follow due process. Read More

Buhari advised on national addressing system

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to establish a national addressing system in the country to check the crime rate in the country. Read More

Science & Tech Minister: We’ll deepen R&D

The Minister of Science and Technology has identified poor funding and ineffective coordination as reasons Nigeria’s technological development has remained stunted.   Read More

NCA cushions consumers from future interconnection hikes

The Ghana National Communication Authority (NCA) has revealed that in order to safeguard consumers from interconnection price hikes, it has enforced that operators maintain their current rates from now until January 2018 in spite of operations of the Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) in Ghana. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

Financial services sees AI as both opportunity and threatFinancial services sees AI as both opportunity and threat

Banking is already a key area where technology is having an impact throughout Africa, and a new survey assesses the impact artificial intelligence will have on this sector.

Advertisement

IN DEPTH

Access and Use of ICT stats releasedAccess and Use of ICT stats released

Statistics Botswana has released the first results of the 2014 Information and Communication Technology Household Survey.