Tanzania urged to crack down on fake phones

By Hudson Kazonta, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The Government of Tanzania has been urged to take action against the import and sale of counterfeit mobile phones.

Earlier this year, the Kenyan regulator switched off services to all unregistered phones, and some Tanzanian mobile phone users think their government should do the same.

Owners of inferior phones say they experience poor network services and fear that the phones will cause health problems to users.

Speaking to the Biztechafrica, mobile phone user Julius Samson of Nzega District in the Tabora Region, said users of fake phones always experiencing poor network services, and are not able to access applications which are available to genuine phones.

He said apart from experiencing the poor network services, also they are not sure with their health status and problems which can be cause after long time uses of fake mobile phones which are available in the market.

Samson said the government should take action to ensure that all mobile phones available in the market are of a good quality and enable customers to enjoy many applications.

In contrast, a mobile phone seller in Nzega, Abdalah Msangi, says the sale of fake mobile phones should be allowed to continue. He says many people cannot afford to buy genuine, branded smart mobile phones since they are priced far higher than fake phones.

He says the traders’ business depends on supplying what their customers’ need. If there is a demand for genuine smart phones, sellers will change and start selling smart phones, he says, but many of their customers don’t have ability to buy them.

Msangi says: “It is very hard to sell smart phones since many people they turn and buy fake phones since they don’t have enough money to buy the high quality mobile phones, which accept many modern applications.”

He says if the government removes all counterfeit phones from the market, few people will enable to own mobile phones.

Recently the government of Tanzania through Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) warned the public against the purchase of outdated phones, explaining that whoever did so would suffer poor network services.

Speaking to the media, TCRA’s Director Prof John Nkoma said, some people wanted TCRA to do what the Kenyan government has done, but TCRA is still working on standards.

He warned that people buying sub-standard phones would suffer network problems, due to the fact that some of the systems like the 3G network needs smart phones that accept the said network connectivity. 

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