The Communications Authority of Kenya’s Director General, Ezra Chiloba, has stated that 124,000 sim cards will be switched off by the end of March 2022.
According to the authority, individuals who were most affected were those who acquired their sim cards illegally, while others did not meet the minimum requirements set by the government to be eligible to own a sim card.
The authority explained in a report dated June 23 that 124,000 sim card owners had not updated their registration information in accordance with the 2015 SIM Card Registration Regulations.
The exercise, according to the report, was designed to guarantee complete compliance with the SIM Card Registration Regulations, which, among other things, compel operators to retain a copy of each subscriber’s identification documents.
Subscribers have until October 15, 2022, to update their registration details.
According to the Chiloba-led Commission, the action is intended to reduce the usage of SIM cards for criminal activities.
According to the quarterly report for the three months ending in March, there were 64.9 million active SIM cards, down from 65.1 million in the previous quarter, a decrease of 124,689 cards.
“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.