PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

CA calls for public contribution on new SIM card rules

Currently, a number of agents do not request for identification documents at the point of purchase of the SIM cards

In Summary

•If implemented, the new regulations will combat the growing trend where criminals have been using stolen ID cards to register SIM cards and use the same to commit crime

•A person who commits an offence under these Regulations shall be liable to a fine not exceeding three hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months

The CA has warned Kenyans against paying money to be liberated from Petya malware attack. /FILE
The CA has warned Kenyans against paying money to be liberated from Petya malware attack. /FILE

The Communications Authority seeks to amend laws on the registration of SIM cards and is seeking the public's input on the Kenya Information and Communications Regulations, 2015

In a public notice, CA said stakeholder comments and suggestions would help enhance the proposed guidelines aimed at curbing SIM card fraud.

“Where, within ninety days a person fails to register identification particulars in accordance with paragraph (4), the SIMcard shall be suspended and deactivated in the manner provided for under these Regulations,” the rules state.

 

If implemented, the new regulations will combat the growing trend where criminals have been using stolen ID cards to register SIM cards and use the same to commit crime.

“A person who commits an offence under these Regulations for which no specific penalty has been provided in the Act shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding three hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both,” the proposed regulations state.

A forensic audit by the regulator shows majority of SIM cards with non-conformity are registered using passports as a form of identification and alien identification cards.

The audit also revealed that a number of agents do not request for identification documents at the point of purchase of the SIM cards.

In instances where they request for ID, the agents do not verify the identities of SIM card buyers against the documents presented.

With each telco trying to increase subscriptions, there has been a growing number of SIM card hawkers with some even charging buyers an additional fee for registration.

CA data shows Safaricom’s share of mobile subscribers fell to 63.5 per cent in the year ending June.

 

Although the giant telco has the highest number of subscribers at 31.8 million, its voice market share and overall customer base has been shrinking over the past two years.

Airtel, on the other hand, increased its subscribers by 3.1 million to 12.8 million in the full year to June, with its market share climbing to 24.6 per cent.

The authority has also demanded details of agents and sub-agents that deal in sales and subscriber registration on behalf of operators, their company registration details, number of outlets and locations in which they operate.