Outrage at illegal SIM card penalties

4 Jan 2013

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. CapitalFM.co.ke 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.

Preliminary data from the CCK, released just before the 31 December deadline, indicated that market leader Safaricom claimed the highest registration rate in the sector, at 85.2%, while also accounting for the bulk of all cancelled SIM cards (2.9 million). Elsewhere, Airtel had registered 82.5% of its user base, Essar Telecom Kenya (ETK) claimed a 65% sign-up rate and Orange had secured 63.7% of its subscribers.



Have feedback, corrections, or story ideas? Send them to editors@commsupdate.com.

Browse Past Issues


Filter CommsUpdate by the following categories or use the search.


Visit our help page information on performing advanced searches, including how to restrict the results by country or company.


CommsUpdate is an outstanding advertising venue for companies seeking to reach:

  • International carriers
  • Wholesale service providers
  • Equipment and software vendors
  • Telecom investors
  • Regulators

Learn more about advertising on CommsUpdate.