Ezra Chiloba, Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya, has announced that 124,000 sim cards were switched off by end of March 2022.
The authority stated that those affected are mostly those who acquired their sim cards illegally while others did not meet the minimum requirements set by the government to own a sim card.
Through a report dated Thursday, June 23, the authority explained the 124,000 sim cards owners did not update their registration details in line with the SIM Card Registration Regulations 2015.
According to the report, the exercise was meant to ensure 100 per cent compliance with the SIM Card Registration Regulations, which, among other things, require operators to retain a copy of the identification documents of every subscriber.
The deadline for subscribers to update their registration details is October 15, 2022.
The move, according to Chiloba-led Commission, is meant to curb the use of SIM cards for criminal purposes.
The quarterly report covering the three months to March showed that the number of active sim cards declined by 124,689 to stand at 64.9 million down from 65.1 million subscriptions in the preceding quarter.
“The decline in SIM subscriptions is partly attributed to the ongoing SIM registration exercise during which a number of SIM cards have been deactivated,” notes the report in part.
The laws effected by the authority also saw mobile penetration drop by 2.5 percentage points to 131.4 per cent, due to the revision of the country’s population figures from 48.7 million to 49.4 million according to the Economic Survey 2022.
“The report shows that 60.1 million mobile phone devices were connected to mobile networks as at 31st March 2022, out of which 26.5 million were smart phones while 33.6 million were feature phones. Subsequently pushing their penetration rates now stand at 54.6 per cent and 69.2 per cent respectively computed as a percentage of the total population,” the report added.
“Mobile money subscriptions grew to 36.4 million from 35.2 million in the previous quarter, as a result of greater diversification of value proportions by service providers.”
The authority, however, maintained that the rollout of the internet will be enhanced as the August 9 General Election date nears.
“As we approach the electioneering period, the industry is expected to experience increased activity considering that ICTs will be a major facilitator of the General Elections,” CA stated.