Commerce

SIM subscriptions drop by 0.2m after data cleanup drive

Friday, June 24th, 2022 08:00 | By

DATABASE: The number of active SIM subscriptions declined by more than 200,000 in three months to March 2022, according to the latest industry statistics, which attributed the drop to the ongoing data cleanup by mobile operators.

The latest data by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), shows that SIM subscriptions stood at 64.9 million between January and March this year, down from 65.1 million subscriptions the sector had as of last December.

“The decline in SIM subscriptions is partly attributed to the ongoing SIM registration exercise during which a number of SIM cards have been deactivated,” CA noted in its third-quarter sector statistics report for the financial year 2021/2022 which ended in March.

That drop represents a 131.4 per cent mobile (SIM) penetration rate whose decline is expected to persist owing to the mandatory SIM card registration exercise by the State.

According to the sector regulator, the exercise – whose deadline has since been extended to October 15, is intended to decrease cases of digital fraud and cybercrime that have been lush in the local telecommunications sector.

Public uproar

Prior to the extension review, CA had directed all mobile operators to clean up their subscriber databases by April 15, a failure to which it will start deactivating all unregistered SIM cards.

But the communications agency was forced to rescind those calls due to widespread public uproar over the process and its timeliness which also coincided with the upcoming August General Elections.

Meanwhile, CA data shows that mobile penetration dropped by 2.5 percentage points, on the review of the country’s population figures which rose from 48.7 million to 49.4 million from the recently released Economic Survey 2022 findings.

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