CA To Block Stolen and Counterfeit Phones In New Policy

Ezra Chiloba

Counterfeit and stolen mobile phones will henceforth be denied service by mobile network operators.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) said it will develop a database where all mobile devices in the country will be registered.

“The system will enable the registration of mobile devices, verification of IMEIs, identification of counterfeit, stolen or lost devices and illegal devices,” a statement by the CA read.

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International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a unique number used to identify a mobile phone. CA said the mobile operators will deny services to devices with blacklisted IMEIs which belong to counterfeit products and are illegally acquired through theft.

“The system shall function by analyzing data dumps received from MNOs and generate a blacklist, a white list and a grey list.”

The regulator believes the move will help wipe out fake and illegal devices that have saturated the country’s mobile phone market.

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All importers will be required to submit the IMEI number of all the devices they bring into the market as a way of combating counterfeit and stolen gadgets from entering the 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 guidelines from CA read.

Mobile phone operators will be required notify fake or illegal device users prior to denying them service.

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“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,” CA stated.

To achieve this, mobile operators must put in place a robust system to integrate with CA’s management system which will also be integrated with the global IMEI database.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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