Doubts About Effectiveness Of Mobile Switch Off
For one it was close to a million, for another it was just past the millionth mark, and yet another the figure was just around two million handsets.
While the three institutions peopled with hawk-eyed journalists following a hot topic like switching Off of fake handsets rarely all get it wrong, the disparity in the figures points to lack of co-ordination by the Communications Commission of Kenya.
The differences in the numbers switched Off and whether it is the correct way to go About the issue of non-genuine handsets played out in the open when representatives from each Mobile service provider congregated on KTN’s Sunrise Business yesterday morning.
One service provider blatantly stated that it was the right thing to do, but using the wrong model.
The other said that the state –here read as CCK – was taking handset manufacturers’ war to the doorsteps and at the costs of Mobile phone service providers and the ordinary citizenry who are not to blame for the issue.
And, true to what this editorial had forecast earlier, the Communications Commission of Kenya may have just bitten more than it will chew.
This has led to questions dotting the entire exercise: Will the switching Off of non-genuine handsets result in another flop just as the Mobile number portability sometime awhile back or the current tussle over reducing inter-connection rates? Did CCK – despite several warnings – consolidate all the views and seek the best way forward in addressing the issue of fake handsets? Will the exercise address the issue of non-genuine handsets once and for all?
Lastly, what is the big bluff with non-genuine handsets when like medicine there are generic versions of the handsets all over Africa?
There are unconfirmed reports that Mobile phone operators have been shocked at the presence of one IMEI number that has been reported 10,000 times. It is obvious that there is something amiss.
If not the discontent among the public over who to punish for fake handsets, or the hue and cry that the blame lies squarely on CCK, Kenya Bureau of Standards, and the anti-counterfeit agency who have kept a very tight lip, then it is the insistence of CCK that seems to have sold out the project.
While the exercise gets under way, it is interesting for example that the anti-counterfeit agency has not raided any of the places where non-genuine handsets are sold.
The agency, which many blame for the current exercise, also has not made a single arrest of somebody importing or selling fake phones.
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