Telkom Kenya took the biggest hit regarding customer subscriptions amid a government crackdown on unregistered SIM cards.
According to Data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CK), Telkom Kenya lost 1.62 million customers between March last year and June 2023.
CA continued the crackdown in April 2022 in an exercise that started in 2012.
Telkom, the third largest service mobile service provider in Kenya after Safaricom and Artel, had 2.25 million active subscribers as of June 2023, a 39 percent dip from 4.14 million subscribers in March last year.
“The slow growth in mobile subscriptions during the year is attributed to the SIM registration exercise that kicked off in February 2022 with a deadline of October 2022 which resulted in the deactivation of unregistered SIM cards,” said CA in the latest industry report.
On the other hand, Safaricom and Airtel grew their active SIM cards by a combined 2.83 million between March and June.
This pushes the total number of active customers to 66.43 million from 64.96 million in March last year for the two telcos.
SIM Card Deactivation
Kenyans with cards dating ten years back had been urged to visit their service providers for an update.
“There is no need to protect consumers and the general public from criminal elements who exploit the void in SIM registration. Many people have fallen prey to fraudsters,” CA said in a statement in August last year after it extended the exercise
The data clean-up exercise 2012 saw 80 percent of SIM cards registered with six million that had not been properly documented blocked.
CA had accused some operators of negligence because of contradictory interests.