It’s not being described as an extension in either case, but both Kenya and Ghana are now offering more time for the SIM card registration process to be completed.
According to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate, the Communications Authority (CA) of Kenya has announced that mobile operators have been given an additional 60 days to comply with the latest SIM card registration rules.
The extra time is, apparently, not for end users, but to allow operators to take whatever actions are needed to ensure compliance – including denial of service of unregistered cards. There may be penalties against operators after this point.
This SIM card saga has been going on since February when the regulator directed the country’s mobile operators to ensure that the personal details of their subscribers were fully updated by 15 April. However, during April the CA decided to extend the deadline to 15 October.
Right now it does seem as though operators Safaricom and Airtel Kenya are well over 90% registration but late last week Kenyan media suggested that only 40% of Telkom users had so far complied with the CA registration directive.
In Ghana, meanwhile, all unregistered SIM cards are to be blocked by the end of this month, even if they have completed stage 1 of the somewhat complex registration scheme. They must also complete Stage 2 registration of biometrically verifying users to avoid being blocked.
Again, this is not described as an extension of the earlier deadline (30 September) but, in this case, a temporary moratorium to encourage individuals to complete the process.
According to the Ghana’s Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, there are almost 10 million people who have already done Stage 1 of the registration by linking their cards to the Ghana (ID) Card but have yet to go through Stage 2.