Amidst concerns about privacy breaches, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has clarified the objectives behind implementing the Device Management System (DMS). The system aims to counteract SIM-boxing, preventing illegal diversion and termination of telecommunications traffic, which not only poses security threats but also results in revenue loss for mobile operators and the government due to tax evasion.
Key points from the CA’s response include:
- The implementation aligns with East African Region requirements, as directed by the Northern Corridor Integration Project Heads of State Summit, to combat illegal bypass and termination of telecommunications traffic within the ‘One Network Area.’
- The DMS is the second phase of efforts initiated in 2010 to address counterfeit devices, following the switch-off of such devices by Mobile Network Operators.
- The comprehensive DMS, developed in consultation with local operators, prevents access to illegal communication devices and denies service to SIM boxes, counterfeit, substandard, non-type approved, and stolen devices.
- Contrary to claims, the DMS does not access subscriber personal information and is designed to solely verify the status of phone devices, enhancing security without compromising privacy.
- All mobile operators will connect to the DMS to ensure blacklisted devices cannot access services, a process initiated through a consultative approach.
- The Authority emphasizes continuous stakeholder engagement, involving industry stakeholders, government agencies, and equipment vendors, in efforts to manage illegal mobile communications devices.
- The CA plans to roll out consumer awareness programs to educate users about the scope and impact of the DMS, emphasizing its commitment to effective regulation and protecting public interest in the ICT sector.
The Authority reiterates its commitment to effective regulation, consumer protection, and maintaining public confidence in the use of ICT services in Kenya.