Telecoms regulator, the Communications Authority of Kenya has set up a messaging service to identify genuine mobile phones in the country.
“In furtherance of its consumer protection mandate, the Authority has set up a Mobile Messaging Service to aid users in ascertaining whether the mobile phone handsets they own or are about to purchase are genuine,” they said in a notice.
Using this service is quite easy. Dial *#06# on the phone to display its International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) number. Note this number and send it as an SMS to the number 1555. The regulator says that the SMS will not attract any charge.
You will receive an SMS which will show the details of the phone, which includes the make and mobile. You can, therefore, use the details to determine whether the phone purchased is genuine, if they do not match, it is not genuine.
“Members of the public are advised that counterfeit mobile phone devices provide poor quality of service and experience, and pose a major threat to personal health and national security,” the regulator said.
The GSMA maintains the IMEI database where the IMEI is a 15 digit number that is used to identify a device on a mobile number.
This is a great move in the fight against the purchase of counterfeit phones by unsuspecting customers. Purchasing such counterfeit phones can land you in a lot of trouble and such moves by the CA can be instrumental in making sure that people are buying.