Saturday, August 27, 2011

Timeout for Fake Mobile Phones in Kenya CCK Directs Service Providers

The Communications Commission of Kenya has embarked on an aggressive campaign seeking to get rid of counterfeit mobile phones from Kenya; the commission has taken a drastic measure asking mobile service providers to identify and switch of fake phones from their network. Apparently, there was meeting between the regulator and mobile service providers who engaged each other to deliberate on the best way to implement the decision considering close to three million subscribers who will be affected by this measure. Counterfeit mobile phones have found a safe heaven in Kenya and Africa at large over the past few years due to their affordable nature; getting rid of them will not only increase efficiency from service providers but also create a vibrant market for genuine devices.

Fake mobile phones are identified by an unrecognized International Equipment Identification (IMEI) number commonly located underneath the phone battery, unlike genuine phones, fake mobile phone’s IMEI number is not recognized by the service provider’s network which complicates service delivery such as blacklisting stolen devices and installing EDGE/GPRS internet settings. All four mobile service providers in Kenya, namely; Safaricom, Orange, Airtel and Yu have an automatic way of sending GPRS settings to a subscriber’s handset depending on phone model which is identified through its IMEI number, if you’ve had such a problem before, may be its time you double checked the validity of your device.

We’ve all witnessed an alternative cheap mobile phone masquerading with same design, features and even identification code such as Nokia N95 in Kenya from the Chinese in local retail shops; now if you are still wondering whether these fake phones exists, think twice, may yours is one of them. Although there is fear of backlash from subscribers by service providers who will implement this measure, it’s for the good of each one of us Kenyans. The communications commission of Kenya has asked service providers to incorporate a device capable of identifying fake phones on their network before the deadline slated for September 9, 2011.

In order for Kenya to successfully get rid of these fake mobile handsets, there source into the country must also be shuttered, and that’s the best way forward according to consumers themselves. Over the past few years, counterfeit mobile phones have flooded the Kenyan market due to their low pricing with promise to offer sophisticated features commonly found on high-end genuine devices; as of now, if you walk into any local electronic shop, chances are you’ll find more than 60 percent counterfeit mobile phones masquerading as either Nokia, iphone, Samsung and so on, some may have a slightly altered name such as NOKLA.

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