Why its important to register your sim card even as the 15th April Deadline draws closer

Kenyans are urgently trying to register their SIM cards before the April 15 deadline.

Long queues have emerged at various registration centers across the country, with the deadline approaching in seven days.

Kenyans have been warned by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) that if their SIM cards are not registered by the end of April, their connections will be disconnected and telecoms services will be suspended.

According to CA’s Telecom Compliance, Licensing and Standards Director Julius Lenaseiyan, the agency is implementing the regulations after unlicensed operators and agents supplied a huge number of unregistered SIM cards to citizens in the country.

The majority of unregistered cards have been discovered among the elderly who purchased their mobile phones before 2015,when the rule was ineffectual according to CA records.

“The SIM card regulations 2015 now stipulates that the Mobile operators namely Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom should re-register their subscribers by updating their details with a digital passport size photo of the customers.

CA has urged mobile network operators to speed up the exercise as no more time will be added.

”This has been an ongoing process over the last few years, the planned switch-off follows an audit that has unearthed loopholes in adherence to SIM card registration laws by mobile network operators,” the authority said.

CA Director General (DG) Ezra Chiloba says the move is to enforce the SIM card registration regulations of 2015 and is aimed at combating cybercrime and fraud in the digital space.

Chiloba asked all mobile network operators to speed up the data cleanup exercise and said that no more time will be added upon the expiry of the grace period noting that unregistered SIM cards have security implications.

“There would be no extension so those still dragging their feet should wake up to the reality and register with their respective telecom service providers or face permanent deactivation,” he said.

The CA DG said there would be no unregistered SIM cards on any of the telcom service providers that would be in operation beyond April 15.

“We want before the end of April all the networks to be cleaned up by deactivating all unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards from the networks,” said Chiloba.

He said Kenya will join other countries in the world that have developed similar policies and collected biometric data through a registration process by telecom companies in a bid to boost cyber security.

Chiloba spoke to the media at Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort and Spa in Mombasa while attending this year’s annual Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) Kenya chapter conference.

 

The new restrictions are also designed to reduce fraudulent SIM card use and keep subscriber information databases up to date.

Telecommunications companies have been asked to thoroughly verify identifying documents given by users with the Integrated Population Registration System during the registration process (IPRS).

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