Kenya Could See Millions of SIM Cards Shutting Down


SIM card

The attempt to register SIM cards is experiencing difficulties in light of news that 15 million SIM cards in Kenya may become inoperable by October 15 as the latest registration deadline approaches. In accordance with data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), according to several Kenyan news websites, 8.2 million of Safaricom’s 42.53 million subscribers, 4.65 million of Airtel Kenya’s 17.04 million subscribers, and 1.24 million of Telkom Kenya’s 3.42 million subscribers had not registered by the end of August.

CA Increase the Date for SIM Card Registration

The exercise has been somewhat successful, as seen by the alleged deactivation of 200,000 SIM cards registered with false identification details. Furthermore, new regulations mandating consumers to provide biometric data may make verification simpler in the future. The CA extended the deadline for SIM card registration by six months in April, despite repeated demands from all three providers for their consumers to adhere by the new regulations or risk getting their service cancelled.

The CA is purportedly intending to develop a database that will hold all of a person’s or company’s mobile phone records in one location, according to a report from Developing Telecoms. It appears that the database containing the SIM card data will be linked to other online databases, such as the Registrar of Companies and the Dead Persons Database.

Such an exercise has been conducted by a variety of nations, including Ghana and Nigeria, for a range of reasons, including the need to stop fraud, ensure secure SIM card-based transfers, uncover false SIM registration by mobile phone scammers, and prevent unauthorised use of registered SIM cards belonging to the deceased. The final deadline had to be extended in each of these nations—many times in Nigeria’s case.