The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has extended SIM registration deadline by another six months, following consultations with telecommunication companies.
Kenyans now have until October 15, 2022, to update registration details for their lines or risk fines by the government according to the authority.
In the new directive issued on the deadline day, telcos will also face penalties in case they miss the targets for registration.
Non-compliant SIM users risk spending six months in jail, or a Ksh300,000 fine, or both.
Already, the three telcos, Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom have rolled out online portals to register subscribers, without requiring them to visit their shops or agents.
Speaking on Thursday, April 14, 2022, CA Director-General Ezra Chiloba said that the exercise is set to weed out scammers and illegal SIM cards, which would guarantee safety to Kenyans.
"When we started this process two years ago, we did not want to create a situation like the one we see now. We still have challenges when it comes to the SIM registration and that is why we have a review meeting with all operators today (April 14) to discuss their experiences so that we make a decision on what is going to happen," Chiloba said.
"Our position as CA is that we did not expect anyone to queue and we encouraged them to put in place measures that will enable their customers to be compliant," he added.
During this validation/registration exercise, Chiloba said that customers will not have to take photos of themselves and give them to their mobile service providers as has been witnessed in the past few days.
He said that the subscribers will only have to render their national IDs, birth certificates or service cards where necessary.
Those having doubts about their registration status don't have to visit their service providers' shops to check their details. Such subscribers will only have to dial USSD code *106# and then press okay to check their details.
"The requirement to update subscriber registration details is being done primarily to protect consumers of telecommunication services – who is you and me. Incidences of sim-boxing, financial fraud, kidnapping, terrorism and related crimes prevail in situations of compromised sim card registration processes," Chiloba said in a statement on April 10, 2022.