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

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

US President hails Kenya for leading innovation in the region

The US government has hailed Kenya for setting good example on how technology can change way of doing business.  Read More

Ghana’s Vice President opens MOBEX15 in Accra

The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, has officially opened the first Africa Mobile and ICT Expo dubbed #MOBEX15 in Accra.  Read More

Experts seek e-governance to check graft

ICT experts have urged the adoption of electronic or e-government at all levels to prevent the stealing of public funds. Read More

Khama points to ICT for drop in tourist numbers

Botswana’s Minister of Environment and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, said the tourist numbers into the country continue to plummet largely because of poor ICT development in that sector as well as unreliable air service.  Read More

Botswana Ministry introduces e-nnovation

Botswana’s Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) is developing ways of getting the local youth to chart the technology waters by coming up with programmes that allow the them to be innovative for the benefit of the nation.    Read More

Ghana to build largest data centre in West Africa

The Ghana government, through the Ministry of Communications, is currently constructing what it believes will be the largest data centre within the West African sub region.  Read More

‘Why NCC must intercept your phone calls’

Nigeria’s telecom sector regulator, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) said it is seeking legal backing to intercept the calls of subscribers to protect them and ensure the security of the nation. Read More

Safaricom dominance under discussion in Parliament

A bill aimed at levelling Kenya’s telecommunications sector by declaring leading operator, Safaricom, as dominant in the industry, is now in Kenya’s parliament. Read More

KRA marks 2 millionth iTax registration

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), has sealed a major milestone in its organisational transformation journey, with the registration of its 2millionth iTax client. Read More

CBN extends BVN enrolment

The Central Bank of Nigeria has extended the timeline for the enrolment for the national Bank Verification Number (BVN).   Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

Kenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customersKenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customers

As confidence in mainstream banks remains low due to prohibitive interest rates, customers are embracing Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) as an alternative.

IN DEPTH

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.