The Communications Authority (CA) of Kenya has launched an operation to switch off illegal, stolen and fake phones countrywide.
In a statement dated on Tuesday, December 28, the authority explained that it had resorted to the move to wipe out the illegal communication devices from the country.
CA further announced that it was in the process of making a database to separate the legal from illegal devices.
“The system will enable the registration of mobile devices, verification of IMEIs, identification of counterfeit, stolen or lost devices and illegal devices.
A person using a mobile phone.
“The system shall function by analysing data dumps received from MNOs and generate a blacklist, a white list and a grey list,” read a statement by the Authority.
In the statement, the authority also noted that it would require importers to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of the devices for approval before they are imported.
That is to ensure that blacklisted devices do not find their way into the Kenyan market.
“The authority shall establish a system to help combat the proliferation of counterfeit and illegal ICT devices as well as curb theft of ICT devices.
“The MNOs shall reference the System and deny access to their communication networks any IMEI that is blacklisted under the direction of the Authority upon notification of the consumer,” added the statement.
According to the latest available data from 2017, the International Peace Institute estimates that East African Community loses Ksh180 billion to counterfeit trading annually.
In the same period, Kenya alone loses Ksh70 billion to counterfeit trading.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) estimates that 40 percent of its members’ market share is lost annually due to counterfeits, with estimates of Ksh 30 billion per year.
The Communications Authority of Kenya offices along Waiyaki Way, Nairobi.