The Kenyan government has officially extended the deadline for SIM card registration to 31 August 2010, in order to give Kenyan mobile phone users more time to comply with the ruling.
The exercise, which began on 21 June, has so far seen 12.4 million subscribers register their details, equivalent to a 62% compliance rate. Dr Bitange Ndemo, Information and Communication Permanent Secretary, said that the extension was necessary because operators had expressed ‘dissatisfaction’ over the low compliance figures in rural areas. Dr Ndemo commented: ‘It was decided that because we have not been able to reach the rural interior, where most of our people have mobile phones, we would extend this by another 30 days’.
Dr Ndemo asserted that the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) would be intensifying its registration campaigns in such areas, warning that no further extensions would be issued. Subscribers who fail to register their SIM cards will have their lines disconnected.
As at the original deadline (30 July) 71% of Safaricom’s subscriber base (or 11.3 million) had registered, 54.2% of Zain Kenya customers (one million), 7% of Essar Telecommunications Kenya (ETK/Yu) subscribers (110,013) and 4% of Orange customers (36,907).