Almost 300,000 SIM cards deactivated by MNOs as October 15 verification deadline approaches




Kenya’s mobile network operators – Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, Telkom Kenya, Jamii Telecom, and Equitel – have deactivated a total of 287,214 SIM cards in the three months between May to June 2022. The update comes as the 15 October deadline issued by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) for subscribers to validate (or verify) their SIM registration details approaches, with less than a month left to go.

The latest ICT sector statistics report released by the Authority shows that the SIM cards deactivated were those registered using the wrong identification details. Consumers continue to validate their registration details and through the exercise, some have discovered the existence of flagged numbers registered in their name without their knowledge.

The Authority in April this year extended the deadline for subscribers to update their registration details by a further 6 months to October 15, 2022.

With the deactivation, the active mobile subscriptions declined to 64.7 million in the quarter down from 64.9 million in the preceding period, translating to a mobile (9SIM) penetration of 130.9 per cent.

In the January-March 2022 quarter, 124,689 SIM cards were deactivated as part of efforts to mitigate misuse of SIM cards for criminal intentions.

According to the CA’s fourth quarter sector statistics report for the 2021 /2022 Financial Year (that is the period covering April 1 to June 30, 2022),

Below is the breakdown of the number of active mobile (SIM) subscriptions per operator by contract type:

In terms of market shares in Domestic Mobile Voice and SMS Traffic during the period under review, Safaricom recorded the highest market shares in domestic mobile voice and SMS at 90.3 and 66.3%, respectively, followed by Airtel Kenya with 31.9 per cent voice and 9.3 per cent of the total SMS traffic. Jamii Telecoms had the least market shares at 0.0 per cent for the two categories, that is voice and SMS.

Mobile money subscriptions stood at 37.2 million, representing a penetration level of 75.3 per cent. In the period, there were 1.1 billion person-to-person transfers amounting to Kshs 1.1 trillion. On the other hand, the value of deposits stood at Kshs 1.4 trillion.

In 2021, mobile services generated revenues of Kshs 315 billion representing a 12.45 per cent increase compared to 2020. At the same time, investments in the mobile sub-sector grew by 12.41 per cent to stand at Kshs 51.6 billion from Kshs 45.9 billion in 2020.

As of 30 June 2022, there were 59.7 million mobile devices connected to mobile networks with feature phones and smartphones accounting for 32.9 and 26.8 million, respectively. The penetration rates for feature phones and smartphones computed as a percentage of the total population were 66.6 and 54.3 per cent, respectively.

The total number of data/Internet subscriptions went up by 2.3 per cent to reach 47.6 million, whereas the number of broadband subscriptions recorded a slight drop of 0.5 per cent to post 30.1 million,

During the period, 3G broadband subscriptions stood at 11.7 million consuming 73.1 million (GB) of data, while the 4G mobile broadband subscriptions consuming 208 million worth of data.

In broadcasting services, there were 286 commercial free-t-air TV, 160 free-to-air commercial FM radio stations 53 Community radio.

There were 92.8 million cyber threat incidences received by the National Kenya Computer Incidence Response Team (National KE-CIRT) during the period, with 1.9 million advisories issued to various targeted stakeholders.

The volume of domestic letters and courier items rose by 3.8 and 5.0 per cent to stand at 290,910 and 1.1 million items, respectively. In the same three-month period, there were 97, 596 dot ke domain names, according to the CA report.

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