A newly proposed law now looks to crack down on the distribution of sub-standard devices in the Kenyan market. If it’s turned into law, retailers who deal in mobile phones that have poor battery performance will risk facing jail time alongside huge fines.
The draft that was published this week by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is set to provide for a three-year jail term or a KES 300,000 fine or both. This is to any dealer that will be found importing or selling mobile phones with a battery life of less than eight talk hours.
According to the CA, the battery for a mobile phone is supposed to offer at least eight hours of talk time and a 24-hour standby period.
“The regulations are geared at protecting consumer interests and promoting the quality of service provided by network operators,” CA acting director-general Mercy Wanjau in an interview with Business Daily.
“In the event that non-compliant devices are submitted for type-approval, the Authority shall decline to provide the requisite authorisation for importation of such equipment into the Kenyan market.”
This move by the industry’s regulator is an attempt to address quality issues in a market that has proven to grow incredibly fast. It follows the major crackdown on sub-standard mobile cellular devices. This was carried out in 2012 where thousands of mobile phones were switched off for lacking authentic International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers.
Counterfeit phones are a huge part of the Kenyan market right now and it is most of these products that tend to come in with such flaws that end up hurting the customers despite paying huge amounts of money. So, it is reasonable to see why the CA would fight for a course set to benefit the Kenyan consumer first.