EAC countries switch off counterfeit phones
11 October 2012, 11:06
Following constant lobbying from major mobile manufacturers to have
all counterfeit mobile phones switched off and prevented from flooding
the local markets, Kenya emerged as the first country to respond to the
grievances pressed forward by manufacturers such as Samsung and Nokia.
Apparently, over 1.5 million fake mobile handsets were switched off in
an exercise which took place in the better part of last week.
the accusations being forwarded by aggrieved customers, Communication
Commission of Kenya (CCK) maintains that it would continue with its
stand of having all the counterfeits switched off from the local
networks as they not only pose a criminal threat to security agents in
the country but also present a health hazard to the users. In response
to the directive issued by CCK, all the four major mobile operators in
the country have so far forwarded a list of over 1.5 million counterfeit
mobile phones as determined by their systems.
developments over the achievement made by the mobile operators is now
set to be replicated across the East African Community (EAC) following
an agreement to have all the rest of the regional countries to follow in
Kenya’s footsteps. This measure would assist in avoiding a possible
dumping of all already switched off mobile handsets into the
neighbouring markets. Should this be implemented, it would mean that
safety standards would be enhanced to a greater percentage across the
East African Community (EAC).
Already Uganda and Zambia are
working out on plans to undertake the switch off which would prevent all
fake phones majority of which are believed to emanate from China. So
far, Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA)
have already confirmed the switching off of about 2,700 counterfeit
Samsung mobile handsets in an ongoing process.
Also in progress
is Rwanda’s Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) which has
commenced on plans to lock all fake phones currently operating in their
networks and those that are still infiltrating their markets.
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