Kenya. April.10.2022-By: Benard Mulwa-Mareeg.com-The telecommunications operators in Kenya are under obligation to register all subscribers and keep the record of all SIM Cards sold and records of registered subscribers.
This comes in the wake of SIM cards being sold using another person’s ID card or proxy, or other documents like the NSSF cards and student IDs, among others.
The Kenya Information and Communications (Registration of SIM cards) Regulations, were gazetted on 14th August, 2015 and the telecommunications operators have been aware of the compliance requirements.
As part of enforcing the regulations on SIM card registration, in 2021 the Authority carried inspections exercises in 22 Counties, during which the Authority established that SIM cards are sold without registration and customers are advised to register later, SIM cards are given for free, use of fictitious identity card numbers in most cases, therefore not resulting in registration but the sale of the line, SIM cards are sold without the presentation of an identification document and no verification is done.
Addressing the media today in Nairobi, Mercy Wanjau the legal director Communication Authority said the Authority directed operators to take the necessary steps to ensure full compliance of the law on SIM Card registration by setting the April 15th, 2022 deadline.
“It is the expectation by the Authority that whichever mechanism adopted by the telecommunications operators to ensure compliance, such mechanism shall be orderly, customer-centric and not disruptive”, Mercy said.
The Authority further observed that all operators shall provide a self-verification USSD code and online platform with standardised menus and messages. The USSD code *106# shall be used by all operators for verification. This means that subscribers do not have to physically present themselves at the operator’s customer service centres unless it is necessary.
The regulations do not require subscribers to submit photos of themselves during registration or verification exercise. However, records of subscribers must include identification documents such as the National ID, service cards for disciplined forces, passports and birth certification whichever is applicable.
Ezra Chiloba, the director general Communication authority said the Authority is very sensitive to the impact of misinformation especially around the electioneering period.
“The requirement to update subscriber registration details is being done primarily to protect consumers of telecommunication services” Chiloba said.