Francis Wangusi

Hundreds of thousands of people are likely to be affected when Kenya suspends services to counterfeit handsets from midnight tonight.

All unregistered handsets and those with non-authentic Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers in Kenya will be disconnected from networks from tonight.

CCK Director General Francis W. Wangusi says CCK has already carried out adequate public awareness campaigns to sensitize consumers on counterfeit mobile phones and the dangers associated with use of such devices.

Wangusi said recently that close to 10 million queries had been made to the handset verification system out of the total 29.7 million subscribers in the country, representing slightly more than a third of the total mobile subscription base.

“We have noted with satisfaction that the number of confirmations through the system have been increasing dramatically as the deadline for the switch-off approaches. We urge Kenyans to confirm the status of their handsets in good time to avoid disconnection,” he said.

Safaricom said last week that it expected around 600,000 of its 19.1 million subscribers to be affected by the counterfeit phone switch off. The telco said it would conduct the disconnection in phases.

Telkom Kenya Orange has been running a promotional campaign offering low cost replacement handsets for those in possession of fake handsets, with ‘Chagua original phones’ priced as low as Ksh.599; while Airtel Kenya has extended its shop operating hours to serve customers’ registration requests. Subscribers can visit Airtel showrooms at Mombasa, Koinange, Parkside, Sarit and Westgate before 2pm today.

Subscribers can confirm the authenticity of their handsets by dialling *#06# to get the IMEI number, which they in turn send to 1555.

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