Communications Authority Extends SIM Card Registration Deadline[Updated]

Ezra Chiloba, Director-General, Communication Authority of Kenya
Ezra Chiloba, Director-General, Communication Authority of Kenya

[UPDATED WITH OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM CA] The past few days have been hectic for Kenyan telcos and individuals trying to beat this week’s deadline(April 15th) to validate their lines and fully document unregistered subscribers.

The Communication Authority of Kenya is enforcing the Kenya Information and Communications (Registration of SIM cards) Regulations, 2015 which requires all mobile operators to collect certain details of their subscribers during registration and update any changes made thereafter to those details.

The National Identity Card is the primary document collected during the registration of a SIM card by a Kenyan.

The regulatory body shared that they are extending the exercise by 6 months with an October 15th deadline.

Airtel, Telkom and now Safaricom have launched self-help portals to directly help their subscribers document their details [Telkom Kenya PortalAirtel Kenya Portal, Safaricom Portal]

According to the CA, Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya are 67%, 55% and 33% compliant respectively so far.

JTL’s Faiba Mobile 4G notified its subscribers that they don’t need to re-register their SIM card as their SIM registration was fully compliant with the Communication Authority guidelines.

CA shared that they’re extending the deadline to ensure service providers meet these obligations and respond to issues like:

  • How to address the needs of subscribers in the diaspora
  • How to reach subscribers in rural and remote parts of the country
  • How to avail the service to the vulnerable population who may not be in a position to present themselves physically for the exercise.

During this period, the Authority says that they will undertake monthly reviews to assess progress.

After the deadline, the regulator adds that they will further conduct a detailed compliance audit on each of the operators.

It’s worth noting that the penalties are heavy for both the service provider and individuals. Operators will be fined Ksh 300,000 per violation(each unregistered user) and if you provide information that is not true, you could be fined up to 6 months in jail.

Deactivated numbers will need to be reactivated at designated points of sale including official shops and authorized sellers the telcos partner up with. The Authority adds that new SIM card registration will have to be carried out at these designated points of sale.

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