Ezra Chiloba Gives Telcos 60 Days To Deactivate Unregistered Sim Cards

October 18, 2022

Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) Director General (DG) Ezra Chiloba Simiyu has directed mobile network operators to deny service to subscribers who have not registered their SIM Cards.

In a statement on Monday following the lapse of the Saturday, October 15 deadline for SIM registration, Chiloba ruled out an extension of the exercise.

He instead gave telecommunications companies a 60-day window to ensure 100 percent compliance.

“All the Mobile Operators were by the midnight of 15th October 2022 expected to ensure that all subscribers had updated their Sim card registration details in line with the law. Taking into account the improved level of performance so far, Operators are directed to take additional steps to ensure 100 percent compliance in the next 60 days,” Chiloba said.

Chiloba insisted that the 60-day period is not an extension of the registration exercise but for the telcos to take action against those yet to comply by withdrawing specific services such as voice or data.

“These steps include graduated denial of service to SIM card holders not duly registered and eventual deactivation. The services to be affected by this action include voice, SMS, data, and mobile banking services.

“The Authority will undertake a compliance audit to ascertain the level of compliance. Any mobile operator found non-compliant shall be liable to regulatory measures including a penalty of up to 0.5 percent of their Annual Gross Turnover,” added the statement.

Chiloba also noted that the two telecommunications giants Safaricom and Airtel had hit over 80 per cent compliance rate.

He said in the last eight months, Safaricom’s compliance levels increased from 52 percent to 93 percent while Airtel moved from 42 percent to 81.2 percent.

“Every line that is not registered will have to be switched off regardless of the owner and we will hold the three operators responsible for any line that will be found operating under their brand name illegally,” Chiloba told the media in Naivasha on Monday on the sidelines of the annual Cyber Security Conference.

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