Calls restricted as SIM card deactivation looms
East Africa’s leading telco Safaricom enhanced its bid for the deactivation of unregistered SIM cards, two weeks before the deadline set by the Communication Authority of Kenya, forcing more subscribers to register their details.
Since Wednesday, several Safaricom subscribers who had not updated their details with the operator told Business Hub that they had been barred from initiating calls, however, other services such as M-pesa and receiving of calls, were accessible.
The subscribers were instead directed to visit M-pesa agents or the company’s website to update their details. The network operator declined to give reasons for limiting calls of unregistered users before the deadline, stating that it is not aware of such measures.
“You will be disconnected on or before 15th October as you have not updated your SIM registration details. Click https://bit.ly/Airtel-KYC & upload your ORIGINAL ID!” read the message to customers.
Safaricom customer care agents contacted via phone however said the partial limitation of services was an internal decision to compel customers to comply before full deactivation. “The reason is people should update their details per the directive from the Communication Authority of Kenya. The registration uptake has been low so this is to serve as a reminder as the deadline approaches,” said a customer care agent at one of the firm’s shops.
The Communication Authority (CA) had in April extended SIM card registration by another six months to 15th October after a majority of Kenyans failed to comply with previous deadlines. This was the third time in a decade the regulator is coming up with a switch-off deadline after a similar attempt in 2012 and 2018.