LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

What to do about unregistered SIMs?

We have consistently argued that human beings must be associated with, and be accountable for, SIMs. The imperatives of the Budget Telecom Network Model cause companies (or more, the thousands of resellers who actually interact with customers) to give away SIMs without too many controls. Therefore, one must be judicious in enforcing the rules. We have been pointing to Pakistan as a model. Kenya, it appears, is exemplary of what not to do.

The Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has condemned a decision by the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) to fine subscribers KES300,000 (USD3,426) or jail them for three years for using unregistered SIM cards. quotes Cofek secretary general Stephen Mutoro as suggesting that the only penalty customers should face for using unregistered SIM cards is disconnection from their service provider. Once disconnected, subscribers will have 90 days to recover their numbers, but Mutoro emphasised that the failure by providers to disconnect noncompliant customers should not be placed with the subscribers themselves.


7 Comments to What to do about unregistered SIMs?

  1. Abu Saeed Khan's Gravatar Abu Saeed Khan
    January 7, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink
  2. January 25, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The PTA has banned the sale of SIMs from retail outlets. So how can you call Pakistan a model for dealing with unregistered SIMs?

    • salman baig's Gravatar salman baig
      February 7, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      Firstly, sale at retailers has been stopped till they deploy biometric verification system. Secondly, is it really necessary to sale SIMs at retailers?. The regulators at least in the sub continent needs to understand that SIMs are not an FMCG product therefore strict controls needs to be established.


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