Communications Authority Director General Ezra Chiloba said mobile service providers are to blame for non-compliance in the ongoing SIM Card registration exercise.
Speaking in an interview with Spice FM on Tuesday, Chiloba said they decided to extend the exercise by six months because mobile operators – Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom Kenya – were not well prepared.
“Our intention was not to switch off non-compliant users, but looking at how we ended up where we did in the last two weeks, it meant the authority had to take action and play a more active role in the process. This was a lack of compliance by the telcos. The pace at which registration was happening was not impressive,” he said.
Chiloba said they took into account consumer concerns as well as the telcos’ willingness to ensure full compliance.
“When we asked the operators to give us the true status of registration compliance, what we found out is that quite a number of them had not been able to put together a database that is fully compliant.
“It became apparent that they still had more issues and our aim really was to protect the interest of the customer. I think on this one they were not prepared, but I would say that with online platforms it should be easier to verify, that also explains the reason we had to stretch this phase to 6 months,” said Chiloba.
He said mobile service providers should take advantage of the extension period operators to develop working mechanisms.
Chiloba warned that once the October 15, 2022 deadline has lapsed, the Communications Authority will audit the operators and subscribers and take appropriate action based on their findings.
“Within those six months on a monthly basis, the communication authority will be monitoring to see whether the operators are doing what they are supposed to do or they are just waiting for another push,” he stated.
“Having known the extent of the problem, at the lapse of 6 months, the authority will carry out an audit of all the systems and the registration status and based on the findings we are going to take necessary action at that particular point. So they have this six month window to put their houses in order.”
Chiloba also cautioned that consumers should not blame the authority if they are switched off after the lapse of the six months.