Kenya has confirmed that they will be turning off counterfeit mobile phones by the time October rolls around, and mobile networks there will also be prevented from activating new “fake” devices that are purchased after October 1st. Government officials claim that this particular move was done so that consumers will be protected from hazardous materials, while safeguarding mobile payment systems in the process. Not only that, this move should also be able to help them track users and limit the possibility of violence before the general election is due to happen sometime next March.
Officially, the statistics claim that up to three million users were talking and texting using counterfeit handsets as of June this year, which is quite a number considering Kenya had 29 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of March 2012. The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) say that fake handsets are “copies of popular brands and models made from sub-standard materials” which have yet to pick up any kind of licensing from the organisation. While this model be adopted by governments throughout Africa? Only time will tell.