The Government has extended the deadline for SIM card registration for a further one month.  Mobile subscribers who have not yet registered their SIM cards now have up to August 31, 2010 to do so. “After that date, we will disconnect all lines that will not have been registered,” Information and Communications Permanent Secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo said.

Announcing the extension, Dr. Bitange Ndemo said many subscribers in the rural areas were yet to register their SIM cards due to logistical difficulties. He noted that the ongoing referendum campaigns have affected registration in some regions.

The initial deadline for SIM card registration was today July 30. As at July 27, 12.42 million mobile subscribers had registered their SIM cards, representing 61.6 % of the total 20.8 million subscribers in Kenya.

Safaricom had registered 11.25 million subscribers out of its client base of 16.24 million, while Zain with 1.89 million subscribers had registered 1.03 million SIM cards. Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd has registered 110,013, representing 7.3% of its total subscriber base of 1.49 million, while Telkom Kenya had 36,907 SIM cards out the network’s subscriber base of 552,294 registered as at July 27.

The SIM card registration exercise kicked off on June 21 this year, and applies to customers buying SIM cards for the first time as well as those acquiring additional lines. To register their SIM cards, subscribers are required to give their full names, physical and postal addresses, date of birth and physical and alternative contacts to their respective mobile telecoms service providers.

SIM card registration was initiated as a means of dealing with the rising cases of mobile phone perpetrated crimes, including kidnaps, fraud, hate message and terrorism.

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