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

Techno Brain introduces SMS Passport Service

Techno Brain has designed, developed and installed a Bulk SMS System for PIS Passport status query for  the Malawi Government’s Immigration Department.  Read More

Online condolences flood in for Sata

Zambians and non-Zambians have flooded social media sites with condolences over the death of the country’s president Michael Sata at the age of 77. Read More

Harnessing support for Government to leverage Open Source

Free Open Source Software (FOSS) has huge potential to be an enabler for effective service delivery, says T-Systems. Read More

Rwanda to fast-track cashless society

The Government of Rwanda has moved to accelerate its plans to transform Rwanda into a cashless economy. Read More

Senegal moves to protect citizens’ personal data

Senegal has launched a major public consultation exercise to seek practical and operational solutions to protect its citizens’ personal information, and promote the development of the digital economy. Read More

Rwanda re-elected member of ITU Council

Rwanda has been re-elected a member state of the Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for 2014-2018.  Read More

Tanzania’s 2014-2025 energy reform roadmap to success

Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals has published an Electricity Supply Industry Reform Strategy and Roadmap for 2014 to 2025. Read More

ICT put to good use in Botswana elections

Botswana voters went to the polls today in an election that that been characterised by innovative ICT use. Read More

Presidential candidates say no to BTCL privatisation

Former Malawian president Joyce Banda graced the live Gabz FM Botswana presidential candidates debates at Westwood primary school, where the two presidential candidates present say the BTCL IPO is in vain.  Read More

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT addresses ITU Plenipotentiary Conference

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, today addressed the 19th International Telecommunication Union plenipotentiary conference in South Korea. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

Growing African focus on data securityGrowing African focus on data security

Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.  

COMPANY NEWS

Schneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitie

Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year. 

SAP accelerates shift to the Cloud with 41% revenue growth in third quarter

SAP has once again raised its revenue outlook, reporting broad market adoption of SAP HANA and its ‘Run Simple’ strategy validated.