Kenya: Safaricom Gives Notice to Unregistered Users

Telecoms

Nine hundred thousand Safaricom service subscribers may be cut off from the network in the next three months because they either have not registered their SIM cards or are using fake handsets.

This follows an announcement on 26th June by the Information and Communications permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo that a three month campaign begins today to sensitize mobile phone users on the mandatory requirement to register their SIM cards and buy genuine phones. Ndemo said at the same time they will identify and lock out those with fake handsets without valid IMEI numbers for subsequent disconnection alongside all unregistered SIM cards.

Peter Arina, General Manager, Safaricom's Consumer Business said three to five percent of their revenue will be affected by the termination of the services to the non compliant customers. He said the drive is motivated by the need for traceability of users involved in criminal activities using the ease of mobile phone communication to co-ordinate their activities. "It is even absolutely necessary now that we are seeing heightened political campaign to minimise propagation of hate speech," Ndemo said

He was speaking at the launch of the latest Ideos mobile handset by Huawei in partnership with Safaricom. Huawei launched its Ideos Ascend Y-100 entry level smart phone, an upgrade of its locally popular IDEOS U8150 handset, which has been Safaricom's flagship handset selling an estimated 200,000 units. The Huawei Ideos handsets recorded the highest returns for Safaricom accounting for 18.5 per cent of the data number of data users, according to Peter Arina, the General Manager of Safaricom's Consumer Business Unit.

The Huawei U8185 branded Ideos Ascend Y100 will retail at Sh 8,499, the same price its forerunner introduced at. The phone will be available in 3 colours, Black, White and Pink. Customers will also get a one off 1.5 GB data offer valid for 90 days, airtime worth Sh1000, 7 days unlimited SMS and a 2GB SD card. Several competing devices including Samsung models have have flooded the market threatening the runaway success registered by the Ideos in the recent past.