Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom to share mobile subscribers database

Telco

A mobile subscriber uses her phone in Nyeri town in May 2021. The Communications Authority of Kenya is eyeing a database that will be a one-stop shop for mobile phone records of individuals and companies.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is eyeing a database that will be a one-stop shop for mobile phone records of individuals and companies for ease of verification and retrieval.

The database will contain information about SIM card subscribers and will be linked with government databases such as the Registrar of Companies and the database of dead persons.

The move is aimed at weeding out mobile phone fraudsters and will also help to prevent the use of registered SIMs belonging to dead persons for fraud.

The CA now wants to buy a SIM card registration data dump analysis system that is capable of mapping mobile subscriber numbers with information in government databases.

It will be link to the database of mobile subscribers held by operators including Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, and Telkom Kenya. Others are Finserve (Equitel) and Jamii Telecom.

The regulator said the system will have capabilities for bulk verification, and report generation. 

“The system will be installed at the CA Centre, and will provide interfaces to integrate with the MNOs’ subscriber registration database, the Integrated Population Registration System (IPRS), Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES), Registrar of Companies database, the database of dead persons and any other database of relevance,” said CA.

The move to link the database with the Registrar of Companies comes at a time the CA has drafted regulations that propose to compel companies to submit their CR12 certificates to register their company SIM cards.

Beneficial owners

The move is aimed at giving the telcos and the government details of the beneficial owners and directors of the firms using the lines.
CR12 is the official document that provides details on the shareholding or directorship of a firm.

This comes amid a rush by mobile users to register their SIM cards ahead of the October 15 deadline for SIM registrations set by the CA.

The authority in April extended the deadline for SIM card registration by six months to allow millions of users to comply with the directive that is aimed at weeding out fraudsters and other criminals from the subscriber databases held by the telcos.

Kenya has 64.67million SIM subscriptions, according to CA data.

The CA says the SIM registration drive has already seen some 200,000 SIM cards deactivated after they were found to be registered under wrong identification details.

This is partly because the number of mobile phones connected to mobile networks stands at 59.7 million phones.

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