The SIM registration exercise raised some key concerns back when the state compelled Kenya SIM card holders to clarify the registration details with their telcos.
The deadline for the process was April 15, but since many Kenyans had not re-registered their SIM cards, the ICT regulator extended the deadline to October 15. This means that you have a month to do so else your SIM card will be switched off.
The Kenya Information and Communications (Registration of SIM Cards) Regulations, 2015
This Act has been around for more than six years. It has also been pushed by the ICT regulator to see that all SIM cards in Kenya are correctly and accurately documented.
So, what does the law say? Well, here are some key takeaways from the Act?
- It is an offense for a telco or agent to register a person as a subscriber in a manner that does not comply with regulations. For instance, a telco must keep a record of all its agents, all SIM cards sold to its agents, the registered subscriber made by the telco and its agents, and any other changes.
- According to the Act, the following particulars must be provided when registering a SIM card: full names, date of birth, ID/service card/passport or alien card number, gender, physical address, postal address where available, any other registered number, copy of the said IDs, and copy of a birth certificate in case of a minor.
- Where within ninety days a person fails to register identification particulars, the SIM card is blocked by the telco.
The law is key because there is a big security lapse when registering SIM cards. Operators and their resellers sell them on the streets, and some hawkers even give them away for free. Furthermore, some SIM cards are illegally registered by agents who fraudulently conspire with criminals, but there is a proposed law that seeks to trace SIM cards to agents who registered them, and this can go a long way in eliminating the vice.
For additional details about the Act and what the regulations say in terms of penalties for telcos or people who give false information when registering SIM cards, you can read the document here.
Safaricom is Kenya’s largest telco with more than 33 million customers.
Back in April, Saf was already ahead with SIM registration with 65 percent validation of its subscribers.
So far, we do not have the recent numbers, but it is likely that the majority of the customers have validated their SIM card information.
How to Register Your Safaricom Line
Safaricom has also offered multiple channels for its customers to register their lines. First, you can walk into any Safaricom Shop and register your line in person.
You can also use this online portal to do so too, and this is probably the quickest way to confirm those details.
Safaricom also added a SIM Update feature on its mySafaricom app.
For minors, birth certificates of the children are needed to register SIM cards of underage children to protect them.
The USSD code can be used by Safaricom customers (and other networks) to confirm your SIM details. If you have not submitted your information for verification, then the code will reveal that information to you.
However, if everything has been updated, you will be alerted so and there is no need for you to worry.
The code can also help you find numbers associated with your ID. If you do not recognize them, you can report them so the telco can deregister them. However, this does not happen immediately because the carrier has to investigate, and might take a couple of weeks.
With that in mind, ensure that your SIM card is properly registered to avoid it being switched off one month from now.