CA To Install Management Systems On Phones in Kenya To End Theft

Lost Phone
Image Courtesy The Independent

The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) intends to install device management systems (DMS) on phones in Kenya. ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo says the aim is to end the proliferation of counterfeit devices and theft.

CA To Install Management Systems On Phones in Kenya

“The influx of counterfeit, substandard, and non-type approved devices in the country presents a huge problem to our society. Given the nature of mobile phone devices and their importance to us, we need to handle this,” said the CS.

How The DMS Will Work

The authority had begun the DMS implementation process in 2016. The courts stopped it then but in April this year, the Supreme Court dismissed the suit. This gives the CA the greenlight to install the system on phones. 

The DMS will help deal with a form of fraud in telecommunications called Sim Boxing. This is when a person, usually not licensed to provide telecommunication services, sets up a device that can take up several SIM cards. They then use it to terminate or receive international calls from the internet. After, they feed them to the country’s mobile network subscribers as though it were local telephone traffic.

The system will

  • Identify all active devices on the public telecommunications network
  • isolate illegal communication devices
  • create and maintain a whitelist of legitimate communication devices.

He notes that the preferred system of use is that of the IMEI Control Solution. This is less intrusive to consumers, and other countries use it too.

Owalo told the Senate ICT Committee that the DMS is not intended to spy on people’s communication. He also notes that the implementation will be done in compliance with the Constitution and all other relevant laws in the country. 

“It is recognised that gaps may exist at the network or subscriber end that create system vulnerabilities. Hence the need to find solutions that either eliminate or significantly reduce the threats to our society,” said Owalo.

Who WIll The CA Work With?

To achieve the objectives, CA will work closely with the:

  • Anti Counterfeit Agency in investigating and pursuing any counterfeit devices that the proposed DMS identifies. 
  • Kenya Bureau of Standards to ensure devices are of high standards.
  • National Police Service to investigate and pursue stolen devices that the system identifies. 
  • Kenya Trade Network Agency to implement and manage the National Electronic Single Window System
  • KRA to control the ports of entry through which all imported devices enter the country. 

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